Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lettuce Genome Assembly

Lactuca sativa, or garden lettuce, is the most valuable fresh vegetables in the United States, bringing in $2.4 billion a year. Scientists and lettuce farmers are so interested in mapping the genome of the Composiate family because of its evolutionary success. There are many different types of lettuce and they grow in multiple environments which makes them the most successful family of flowering plants. Being able to see why they are so successful could help farmers genetically modify other crops in order to make them just as successful. During the mapping, scientists found that 45 million years ago the genome of lettuce was “triplicated”. This means there are three copies of each gene all showing up in different spots of DNA. It is believed that this triplication is what has given the Compositae family so much success.

1 comment:

  1. I don't find it surprising that lettuce is the top fresh vegetable sold in the US, this is largely due to the genetic success of the plant. By studying more on the plant, it may be possible to find a way to produce other top cash crops with the efficiency and success rate that lettuce is grown. With the success of other crops, more revenue will be circulated through the country as well as more food for those in need.