3 million for sequencing of the potato genome by Dutch Government


The Potato genome sequencing Consortium will start with the sequencing of the first potato chromosome, a project for which the Dutch government has decided to make 3 million euros available. Dutch researchers, working together with a worldwide group of research organisations, aim to complete the sequencing of the potato genome by the end of 2010. With this, they hope to make a contribution to the future global food supply.

The Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC) is an initiative of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative (NGI) and the Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR). PGSC is a consortium of research teams from sixteen different countries, who together have accepted the challenge of determine the complete DNA sequence of potato. Other participating countries are Brazil, Chile, Peru, Canada, the United States, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Turkey, Great Britain, the Russian Federation, India, China and New Zealand. All activities are coordinated from Wageningen, where the potato genome database will also be maintained.

The potato genome consists of twelve different chromosomes. All partners of the consortium have chosen the chromosomes, on which to focus their sequencing efforts. In order to give all partners a flying start, researchers from Wageningen have conducted a great deal of preparatory work. For example, they have developed DNA libraries that the partners can access, as well as creating a map of the twelve chromosomes.

The Dutch government has now decided to provide financing, both for the sequencing of chromosome #1 and the coordination of the entire consortium. Wageningen University is still eager to find Dutch partners to help finance the sequencing of their other chosen chromosome #5.

A total of 3 million euros has been committed by the Dutch government. This money has been allocated from the FES fund, which is for structural investment in the Dutch economic structure.

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