Chinese scientists have completely sequenced and assembled the genome of coconut, an advance that may lead to high-yielding, drought-enduring, and disease-resistant varieties.
Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences sequenced the coconut genome, laying solid foundations for further research of functional genes of the coconut and Palmae family.
"We found 282 unique genome families in the coconut," Yang Yaodong, a researcher with the academy, was quoted as saying by the Xinhua news agency.
"The completion of the genome sequencing is like finishing drawing a map of coconut genes," Yang said.
"Following the map, scientists will be able to breed more high-yielding, drought-enduring, and disease-resistant species, with a shorter breeding cycle," said Yang.
The results of the genome sequencing project, that began more than four years ago, were published in Giga Science journal.
A genome is the full complement of an organism's DNA - complex molecules that direct the formation and function of all living organisms.
The size of an organism's genome is measured by the number of bases it contains - base pairs being the building blocks of DNA.
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