SEQUencing the ONion Genome.
TopSector T&U – Grant ID 279
1 January 2013 to 31 December 2017
To meet the need to produce food for an increasing world population, production levels of food must increase while using less land and inputs such as water, nutrition and pesticides. Onion is an important crop worldwide. For the Netherlands, onion has a high economic value, as 90% of the onion bulbs produced in the Netherlands are exported. Dutch breeding companies not only breed onions for the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, but also for the United States, South America, Asia and Australia. In terms of global production value, onion ranks second after tomato. In terms of genetics and genomics, knowledge on the onion genome is scarce compared to tomato. The tomato genome is fully sequenced, whereas there is little known about the onion genome. This is due to the huge size of the onion genome, which is about 18 times larger than the tomato genome. Sequence information is extremely valuable for the identification of genes associated with important traits such as, for example, disease resistance. The availability of the onion genome would thus speed up onion breeding and lead to several innovations. The purpose of this project, therefore, was to contribute to an international effort to sequence the onion nuclear DNA and provide the sequences and annotations. GenomeScan contributed to the genome de novo assembly with a use of sequencing technologies.
This project was a public private partnership, co-funded by the Dutch ministry for Economic Affairs.