W280 A first look at the large and complex genome of Norway spruce (Picea abies)

Date: Sunday, January 15, 2012
Time: 8:10 AM
Room: Sunrise
Par K. Ingvarsson , Umea university, Umea, Sweden
Conifers are an evolutionary ancient group of plants, having arisen about 300 Mya and with modern genera present for at least 60-120 Mya. Conifers have been extraordinarily successful; they are found on six of seven continents and are dominant members in many ecosystems, particularly in boreal forests. Despite this, conifers are the last major plant group that still lacks at least one member with a completely sequenced genome. One reason for this is that the typical conifer genome is very large, between 20 and 45 Gb. Conifer genomes are also characterized by a high degree of complexity, with a substantial portion of the genome being moderately to highly repetitive. Lacking a complete genome sequence has hampered our progress of understanding conifer biology and evolution and has also limited the development of novel breeding strategies of these economically important species. The “Spruce genome project” aims at sequencing and assembling the 20 Gb genome of Norway spruce (Picea abies). This talk will provide a first insight into the spruce genome, with an emphasis on gene content, analyses of the repetitive parts of the genome and some insights into conifer evolution.