Projects per year
The purpose of the SEQUON project (http://www.oniongenome.net ) is to sequence the onion nuclear DNA and provide an annotated de novo genome assembly with the aim to meet the need to produce food for an increasing world population. Production levels of food must increase while using less land and inputs such as water, nutrients and pesticides. Onion, Allium cepa L., is an important crop worldwide. For the Netherlands, onion has a high economic value as 90% of the onion bulbs produced in the Netherlands are exported. Dutch breeding companies not only breed onions for the Netherlands and the rest of Europe, but also for the United States, South America, Asia and Australia. In terms of global production value, onion ranks second after tomato. In terms of genetics and genomics, knowledge on the onion genome is scarce compared to tomato. The tomato genome is fully sequenced, whereas little is known about the onion genome. This is partly due to the huge size of the onion genome (16GB). Sequence information is extremely valuable for the identification of genes associated with important traits such as disease resistance and for understanding the underlying mechanisms. The availability of the onion genome will speed up onion breeding and lead to several innovations. Results of the first assembly will be presented.