The impetus for the genome sequence began in 2003 with the formation of The Global Cassava Partnership (GCP-21), co-chaired by Dr. Claude Fauquet, director of the International Laboratory for Tropical Agriculture Biology (ILTAB) at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (DDPSC) in St. Louis, and Dr. Joe Tohme of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Cali, Colombia. This, in turn, led to a 2006 proposal by Fauquet, Tohme and 12 other international scientists to DOE JGI’s Community Sequencing Program, which was selected for a pilot project.The full genome project gathered momentum in early 2009 when 454 Life Sciences and DOE JGI each pledged the resources to use 454 Life Sciences’ Genome Sequencer FLX Platform with long-read GS FLX Titanium Chemistry to rapidly generate the DNA sequence data needed for the project. “This is a perfect example of how quickly things can happen when everyone is aligned behind an important cause. Most of the data for the genome were generated within 8 weeks of getting DOE JGI and 454 Life Sciences on board,” said the UA’s Rounsley, who led the collaboration.
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