A Breakthrough Genome-Sequencing Tool for Plant Breeding Advancements

by Anna

Researchers at the University of Adelaide have unveiled a powerful new software tool, CoreDetector, designed to significantly enhance genome-sequencing capabilities. This innovative tool is set to revolutionize the field of plant breeding, offering increased speed and accuracy in improving crops for resilience in the face of a dynamically changing climate and landscape.

Led by Dr. Julian Taylor and Dr. Fruzangohar from the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine’s Biometry Hub, CoreDetector tackles computationally challenging genome-sequencing tasks, particularly the alignment of large and evolutionary diverse plant genomes.

Dr. Julian Taylor highlighted the significance of whole genome alignment in determining structural and sequence variations within populations. He explained, “There are few tools that have the functionality to handle large and evolutionary diverse genomes, but CoreDetector harnesses the power of computational parallelization to undertake the cumbersome task of pairwise sequence alignment between population member genomes.”

The software, named CoreDetector, has already demonstrated its utility across various species, ranging from kilobyte bacteria genomes to gigabyte-sized plant genomes like wheat. Notably, it also supports diploid organisms such as humans and other animals.

The underlying research supporting CoreDetector’s development has been published in Bioinformatics, emphasizing the tool’s robust scientific foundation. Moreover, the software is freely accessible on GitHub, ensuring that it can benefit researchers and plant breeders worldwide.

Dr. Fruzangohar emphasized the immediate advantages for the plant pre-breeding and breeding research community, especially those dealing with complex plant genomes. “As high-throughput sequence technologies become more advanced and more species can be sequenced, we believe free access to CoreDetector will continue to allow rapid advancement in genetic research of diverse populations,” he added.

The Java-based software is designed to be easily transportable between operating systems, further enhancing its accessibility. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Fruzangohar, co-leaders of the project, are already looking ahead to the future of CoreDetector. Their next goal is to extend its computational framework to obtain the pan-genome, a complete set of sequences including the core-genome and accessory sequences of a population.

With CoreDetector offering a robust and accessible tool for genome sequence analysis, the University of Adelaide’s researchers are poised to make significant contributions to the advancement of genetic research and plant breeding practices, addressing the challenges posed by a changing climate and providing sustainable solutions for agriculture.

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