doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.77 Published online 10 July 2017
By sequencing the genome of a dark jute species, researchers have identified disease-resistance and defense-response function genes1, which will help breed high-yielding varieties.
Corchorus olitorius, commonly known as dark jute, is an important crop which occupies 80% of the world’s jute-growing areas. Grown in tropical lowland areas, it produces one of the strongest vegetable fibres and is comparable only to cotton in terms of volume produced. There are, however, several biological constraints that limit its use for the textile industry.
To better understand and exploit its industrial and agricultural potential, scientists from the ICAR-Central Research Institute for Jute and Allied Fibres (CRIJAF), Kolkata along with colleagues from the ICAR-National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology (NRCPB), New Delhi in India sequenced a leading Indian strain, which was developed from a cross between African and Indian varieties.
They identified 1765 genes with disease-resistance and defense-response functions. After identification, the genes were categorized into three sub-categories that encode three specific classes of proteins.
Besides facilitating jute research and development, the decoded genome could shed light on the mechanisms underlying premature flowering in dark jute, and help breed high-yield varieties.
1. Sarkar, D. et al.The draft genome of Corchorus olitorius cv. JRO-524 (Navin). Genomics. Data. 12, 151-154 (2017)