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GenoSuber – Cork Oak Genome Sequencing Project
This Portuguese initiative aims to the complete sequencing of the cork oak genome.

The Cork Oak Genome Sequencing Project aims to obtain the complete genome sequence of tree (Quercus suber L.). Quercus suber is one of the most important forest species in the country, with a high socioeconomic and ecological role. Portugal is the main world cork producer, with more than one-third of the total quota. However, in Portugal, oaks (cork oak and holm-oak) are being threatened by unfavorable soil management policies, climate changes, biotic stress (Phytophthora cinammomi) and fire. An efficient intervention is thus required based on the species advanced knowledge. 

The project involves six institutions: Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Agro-Alimentar do Baixo Alentejo e Litoral (CEBAL), BIOCANT, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV), Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica (ITQB), Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (IBET) and Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC). This initiative is supported by the international consultants specialized in tree genome sequencing: Yves Van de Peer (Professor of Bioinformatics and Biology at Ghent University, Belgium) and Gerald A. Tuskan (Researcher of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, EUA).

The project will generate a comprehensive genetic resource on Q. suber. This resource will be used to address the species' characteristics, its biological behavior and its genetic characters. The available genome information will increase the number of researchers studying the species and propel their studies through the accelerated access to knowledge and the educated search for answers to agronomical and industrial needs. Responses to biotic and abiotic stress, vegetative and reproductive development, acorn production and especially the mechanisms for bark production are among the subjects to be addressed. The produced knowledge will translate into applications to increase bark production and implement efficient forest management practices.

The information to be generated will be available for the scientific community and also the industry. The project will communicate the results through publications on international journals with referees. Results communication also aims the general public, mainly through a project website, press releases and meetings with the local communities.

More information at http://www.genosuber.com/

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