Agri Business

Rubber Research Institute decodes genome of popular Indian hybrid clone

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on June 30, 2021

To aid evolving clones that can tolerate pests, diseases and adverse climatic conditions.

Rubber Research Institute of India has achieved a significant breakthrough by decoding the entire genome of the most popular Indian hybrid rubber clone -- RRII 105.

This will have a profound impact on research aimed at improving the genetic potential of rubber trees to produce more rubber and timber. This will also aid in evolving clones that can tolerate pests and diseases and adverse climatic conditions better.

RRII achieved a draft assembly of the genome sequence of RRII 105 with a size of 1.47 giga bases (i.e. 1,47 billion bases) with 94 per cent completeness which is an excellent outcome for a de novo assembled tree genome. The genome assembly was accomplished using genome sequence data obtained from deep sequencing using NGS platforms like Illumina, Pacbio and Roche 454. The sequence data generated was of good quality and sufficient enough to cover more than 200-fold of the genome of rubber. The completed genome assembly is one of the biggest tree genome sequences from India.

Whole-genome sequencing and assembly give the most comprehensive characterisation of the organism’s decoded genome. This offers unprecedented possibilities in developing clones with most ideal agronomic traits. Whole genome sequencing is a powerful tool for genetic improvement of natural rubber, both through traditional breeding and most recent molecular breeding approaches.

Other countries that have done rubber genome sequencing are China, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan.

The project was led by James Jacob, Director, RRII. The other members of the team are R. G. Kala, Thakurdas Saha, ; A. Thulaseedharan, Anantharamanan. R, Thomas. K. U. Bindu Roy, M. B. Mohammed Sathik, Molly Thomas, Shaji Philip, and Minimol Ravindran.

Published on June 30, 2021

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