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“Old Blush” Decoded: Complete Genome Sequence Provides Insights into the Biology of Roses

“Old Blush” Decoded: Complete Genome Sequence Provides Insights into the Biology of Roses

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Research enables breeding of high-resistance plants

An international research team with the participation of researchers of Leibniz University Hannover has decoded the complete genome of the rose species colloquially known as "Old Blush".

With the help of modern sequencing and analysing techniques, a genome sequence of approximately 512 million bases was detected, upon which approximately 44,000 genes were identified. The new sequence provides the basis for the analysis of the genome structure and all protein-coded genes of the rose. By comparing the research results with seven other rose species, as well as with genomes of strawberries and further rosaceous plants, detailed insights into the evolution and biodiversity of rosaceae on the genome level are possible. The genome sequence has already been utilised to analyse the gene regions responsible for blossom structure, the duration of flower formation and prickle density. With the data, researchers already work on diagnostic methods for the breeding of plants with improved biological traits. Roses with attractive, fragrant blossoms and a higher resistance to diseases and pests could therefore become increasingly common.

Roses are not only the economically most important ornamental plants, but also show rich biodiversity, considerable genetic complexity, as well as traits like fragrance, blossom morphology, and prickle density, which make them interesting objects for basic research on plants. The findings of the international work group were published in the June issue of the scientific journal "Nature Plants".

Note to editors:

For further information, please contact Prof. Thomas Debener, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Leibniz University Hannover (Tel.: +49 +49511 762 2672, email: debener@genetik.uni-hannover.de.)