The sweet potato genome sequencing was performed as part of a project sponsored by the Trilateral Research Association of Sweet Potato—consisting of the Institute of Sweet Potato Research at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China Agricultural University, the Rural Development Administration of Korea, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology and Japan’s National Agriculture and Food Research Organisation and Kazusa DNA Research Institute.
“The sweet potato is an essential crop for the world’s communities, especially in Asia and Africa, providing high vitamin, mineral and calorie content,” said professor Qingchang Liu, president of the consortium from China Agricultural University.
The assembly of the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) genome took less than two months using NRGene’s (a software provider for genomic big data) platform which can assemble almost any genome by leveraging big data for quick and efficient analysis, delivering complete genomes at the highest level of accuracy. Previously, the researchers laboured for years to assemble genomes.
The next step in sweet potato research is creating a sweet potato pan-genome, which will allow researchers to see unique and shared traits among all varieties and be able to breed sweet potatoes with higher nutritional values, productivity, and disease resistance.