ArborGen, others work to sequence Eucalyptus genome

By Nicholas Zeman
The scientific effort to sequence the Eucalyptus genome is bringing together over 20 different institutions from around the world. The project will be led by the U.S. DOE's Joint Genome Institute and the Summerville, S.C., research firm ArborGen LLC. Along with its New Zealand-based shareholder Rubicon Ltd., ArborGen is providing access to a private library of nearly 240,000 Eucalyptus sequences for this effort. This fast-growing, high-yield hardwood is cultivated commercially in many parts of the world to produce pulp and paper. ArborGen said Eucalyptus is also considered to be an ideal cellulosic ethanol feedstock. A native of Australia, the Eucalyptus genus includes 700 species and some of the fastest-growing woody plants in the world.