Genome of symbiotic tree fungus sequenced

Jul 25, 2006

U.S. government scientists have completed DNA sequencing of a fungus that forms a beneficial symbiosis with trees in North American and Eurasian forests.

Scientists say the sequencing of the fungus -- Laccaria bicolor -- was the project of an international consortium comprised of the U.S. Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, France's National Institute for Agricultural Research, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Ghent University in Belgium, with additional groups in Germany, Sweden, and France.

"The Laccaria genome sequence will provide the global research community with a critical resource to develop faster-growing trees for producing more biomass that can be converted to fuels, and for trees capable of capturing more carbon from the atmosphere," said Joint Genome Institute Director Eddy Rubin.

The complete Laccaria genome sequence was announced Monday during the Fifth International Conference on Mycorrhiza in Granada, Spain.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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