Summary: Science News / Study Decodes Papaya Genome http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/31444/title/Study_decodes...
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Home / News / May 10th, 2008; Vol.173 #16 / News item
By Rachel Ehrenberg
April 24th, 2008
Tropical fruit tree's DNA has surprisingly few genes
The tropical tree whose fruit packs a vitamin-rich punch has become
the fifth flowering plant to reveal its genome. An international team of
researchers has unveiled a draft of the catalog of genetic information
needed to make papaya.
It is the first time researchers have compiled the genome of a
transgenic fruit crop -- the papaya variety had been genetically
modified for protection against a virus. The work will help scientists
develop a quick way to determine the sex of a papaya tree -- plants
with both male and female flowers are the only ones farmed for fruit,
but currently these plants can't be distinguished from all-male or
all-female plants until the trees are 3 to 4 months old. "This will really
help the farmers," says Maqsudul Alam, who led the project at the
University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The work also sheds light on how the genetic blueprint for plants