[RIO DE JANEIRO] A team of Brazilian scientists has sequenced the genome of sugarcane, one of the most widely grown crops in Brazil.
Their findings, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Genome Research, suggest that 2,000 of the more than 33,000 genes in the sugarcane genome are associated with sugar production in the plant.
The sequencing of the genome was co-ordinated by Paulo Arruda of the State University of Campinas (Unicamp). More than 200 scientists from 22 Brazilian research groups were involved in the study, which started in 1999.
Brazil produces more than 300 million tons of sugarcane — and exports US$2 billion-worth of sugar — each year, according to the São Paulo Sugarcane Agroindustry Union.