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Forestry and Timber

Scientists use Loblolly pine seedling from New Kent to unlock largest genetic code ever sequenced

Scientists use Loblolly pine seedling from New Kent to unlock largest genetic code ever sequenced

RICHMOND - The Virginia Department of Forestry announced Monday that a team of scientists from across the nation has decoded the genome of a Virginia Loblolly pine tree.

With 22 billion base pairs, this is the largest genome ever sequenced. In comparison, the human genome has 3 billion base pairs.

Led by Dr. David Neale, professor of plant sciences at the University of California-Davis, the team used tissue from a single pine seedling obtained from the Virginia Department of Foresry and broke down the tree’s DNA into smaller, more manageable data pieces and analyzed them with a super-computer.

The team then re-assembled the pieces, figured out which genes were...

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