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Sugarcane Genome Sequencing

Sugarcane cultivars derive from a recent interspecific hybrid obtained by crossing Saccharum officinarum and Saccharum spontaneum and represent relevant feedstock used worldwide for biofuel production.

The challenge in a sugarcane sequencing project is the size (10 Gb) and complexity of its genome structure that is highly polyploid and aneuploid with a complete set of homo(eo)logous genes predicted to range from 8 to 10 copies (alleles). Although sugarcane's monoploid genome is about 1 Gb, its highly polymorphic nature represent another significant challenge for obtaining a genuine assembled monoploid genome.


Lembke, C. G., Nishiyama Jr, M. Y., Ferreira, S. S., Dal-Bianco, M. L., Sato, P. M., Hotta, C. T., Carneiro, M., Loureiro, M., Carrer, H., Endres, L., Hoffmann, H., Sanches, M., Menossi, M., Souza, G. M. (2013). Sugarcane genome sequencing and gene discovery: getting closer to sugar content, fibre and drought traits. International Sugar Journal, p. 708-713.

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Souza, G. M., Berges, H., Bocs, S. S., Casu, R., D, Berg A., Ferreira, J. E., Henry, R., Ming, R., Potier, B., Van Sluys, M. A., Vincentz, M., Paterson, A. H. The Sugarcane Genome Challenge: Strategies for Sequencing a Highly Complex Genome. (2011). Tropical Plant Biology 4, 145-156. DOI: 10.1007/s12042-011-9079-0

Paterson, A. H., Souza, G. M., Van-Sluys, M. A., Ming, R. and Angelique D’Hont. Structural genomics and genome sequencing in sugarcane. In: Sugarcane volume of “Genomics of Industrial Crop Plants”. Robert Henry (Org). in press.

Hoarau, J. Y.; Souza, G. M.; D'Hont, A.; Menossi, M.; Pinto, L.R.; Souza, A. P.; Grivet, L.; Menck, C. F. M.; Ulian, E. C.; Vincentz, M. (2007). Sugarcane, a tropical crop with a highly complex genome. In: J. F. Morot-Gaudry, P. Lea and J. F. Briat. (Org.). Functional Plant Genomics. Science Publishers.

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Dr. Glaucia Souza conducts research in biotechnology and sugarcane genomics and coordinates the State of São Paulo Research Foundation Bioenergy Program. BIOEN aims at articulating public and private R&D, in academic and industrial laboratories, to advance and apply knowledge in fields related to bioenergy. Research ranges from biomass production and processing to biofuel technologies, biorefineries and sustainability. Dr. Souza is the Chairperson of the SCOPE Bioenergy & Sustainability project, a global assessment of current status and latest developments on bioenergy production and use to produce policy recommendations for the sustainable expansion of bioenergy in the world. The project involves contributions from 137 experts from 24 countries.