Sequenced at the DOE JGI using the Sanger platform under the 2006 Community Sequencing Program, the 101-million base pair genome of Melampsora larici-populina, the first tree pathogen sequenced, was made publicly available in 2008. Poplar leaf rust outbreaks weaken poplar trees, a candidate bioenergy feedstock whose genome sequence was published by the DOE JGI in 2007. In this study Melampsora larici-populina was compared with the wheat stem rust fungus sequenced by the Broad Institute. This rust fungus causes major epidemics of both barley and wheat worldwide. A strain known as Ug99 has spread across Africa and into Central Asia, and overcome most of the stem rust resistant wheat varieties developed over the past 50 years. This is first joint fungal genomics study for the DOE JGI and the Broad Institute.
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