Date: 26 Oct 2012

Comparative Genomics in Euphorbiaceae

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Abstract

Euphorbiaceae is a family of economically important plants such as cassava, rubber tree, Jatropha curcas and castor bean that includes about 322 genera and 8,900 species endemic to diverse habitats extending from arid regions to humid tropics. The genome resources for the important members of this family are being developed. However, lack of significant understanding of the synteny and diversity of genes among members of Euphorbiaceae makes it difficult to design breeding strategies to manipulate genetic stocks. The comparative genomics of fatty acid biosynthesis in selected members of Euphorbiaceae not only would allow the development of candidate gene markers, but also would provide functional basis for selective breeding of oil accumulation and composition in oilseed members of this family. Interestingly, a high rate of EST-SSRs and SSRs transferability has been reported among different genera and comparative analysis between cassava and castor bean genomes has shown genome duplication and synteny among these two economically important species. Although, a number of genomic aspects of Euphorbiaceae have been explored, there is still a long way to unveil other approaches such as development of genetic and comparative maps to accelerate breeding efficiency and increase commercial outputs of economically important plants like Jatropha.