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NRGene delivers first-ever food potato genomes
Potato pangenome research drives cooperation between international public and private sectors

NRGene, a leader in genomic assembly and analysis, is working with a team of researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR) in the Netherlands and leading commercial partners to create multi-genome mapping of commercial food potatoes.

Potatoes are the fourth most consumed food crop in the world, reaching 11 billion in global trade.

The potato genome is complex. It’s an auto-tetraploid, which means that each potato cell contains four nearly identical copies of each chromosome and gene, making the assembly and phasing of the four copies extremely difficult for traditional technologies.

NRGene has completed the phased assembly of three commercial potato varieties. The assembly is built of scaffolds with an N50 of 1.19 Mbp, less than 0.89 percent unfilled gaps, and BUSCO results of 96.25 percent, 86 percent of which are found in more than one copy.

The potato breeding and research community, in which the Netherlands is leading, is continuously seeking improved genomic infrastructures to allow more efficient molecular breeding, and NRGene technologies provide the solution: DenovoMAGIC delivers the initial assemblies, while PanMAGIC compares the genomes all-to-all to get the best view of local differences and polymorphism such as SNPs, as well as global changes, such as gene PAVs and CNVs, translocations, and duplications of different sizes and whole chromosomic regions.

“Potato research and breeding faced significant difficulties during the last 100 years,” says Dr. Finkers of WUR. “NRGene’s genomes and pan-genome analysis will allow us to map traits on the level of haplotypes, which was previously almost impossible.”

“NRGene has achieved a very prominent position in world agriculture right now, having delivered more than 300 crop genomes over the past two years,” says Gil Ronen, NRGene CEO. “Many crops already have a single genome, a few have more than one. Simply by plugging in raw data from multiple varieties, researchers across all crops can get a broad genomics analyses of an entire species – allowing them to get a complete picture of what needs to be done to increase yields, reduce resource requirements and directly address food scarcity problems around the globe.”

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