Completion of chromosome-level assembly, genetic and physical maps of orchid phalaenopsis aphrodite genome to advance orchid industry molecular breeding
A quality reference genome and genetic map of the orchid Phalaenopsis aphrodite has been compiled by distinguished research fellow, Dr Ming-Che Shih and colleagues from the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center in Taiwan.
The map helps provide new insights into the orchid genome architecture and will serve as a crucial resource for orchid breeding, orchid species conservation and comparative genomic studies. The work was published in the Plant Biotechnology Journal on 28 April 2018.
It vastly improves on the data provided by a previously assembled draft orchid genome published in 2015, which was highly fragmented, had incorrectly assembled scaffolds, and provided neither genome architecture nor chromosome information.
Taiwan鈥檚 orchid export industry has an estimated annual export value of more than USD 130 million. In order to meet and stimulate consumer demand in the market, the industry urgently needs to introduce new varieties of orchids; however, the growth cycle of orchids is as long as two to three years. The traditional breeding method, is time-consuming, energy-consuming, and has low success rates. Therefore, the industry has moved toward using molecular breeding techniques to generate desirable new varieties with attractive genetic traits.
Phalaenopsis aphrodite is native to Taiwan and has a beautiful flower and stalk shape, making it a major breeding parent of many commercial orchid hybrids.
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