University of Georgia
Comparative genomics of maize and sorghum
The small genome of sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is valuable in several
ways for advancing study of the much more complex genome of maize. Sorghum
and maize are thought to have diverged from a common ancestor about 20-25
million years ago and share a high degree of macro-colinearity albeit with
localized deviations. Most sorghum and maize chromosomes differ by 1-2
major rearrangements, a much higher level of similarity than either has
with rice. Based on outputs and ongoing activities of an NSF-funded comparative
genomics project, a growing set of opportunities will soon exist to take
advantage of the close relationship between maize and sorghum for genomic
research. Highlights of these opportunities include Genbank access to about
50,000 two-pass sorghum ESTs, and BAC hybridization data for genetically
mapped probes that are anchor points between sorghum, maize, and rice.
The underlying BAC libraries include those being used in the international
rice sequencing effort, and the NSF maize genomics effort led by Univ.
Missouri -- all BAC libraries have been fingerprinted at CUGI. A host of
opportunities in structural, functional, and evolutionary genomics are
anticipated through the detailed comparison of the maize and sorghum genomes.
Please Note: Notes submitted to the Maize Genetics Cooperation Newsletter may be cited only with consent of the authors.
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