Fun With Numbers

Even Faster Sequencing

Just five years ago in 2005, the state of the art technology for sequencing genomes was Sanger sequencing, the same basic technology that had been used by biologists for decades, although the sequencers of 2005 were the result of decades of refinement of the basic technique. Five years later in 2010, the newest state of the art sequencer is the HiSeq 2000 from Illumina (at least until the Pacific Biosystems sequencers become available later this year… ::drool::). What difference does 5 years make? It would take more than thirty-thousand of the latest and greatest sanger sequencers from 2005 (right before the first next generation sequencer, a 454 machine built by Roche, was released) to produce as much DNA sequence data as a single one of the new HiSeq 2000s produces.*

Site Business

No strawberry genome ::sniff::

From the article on the genome at

Contrary to the information posted in the article on January 11, 2010, the strawberry genome sequence has not been completed or released.

The news release above was a premature and highly inaccurate dissemination from the USDA. The strawberry genome has not been published, it has not been released, and analysis is not complete.

The genome of diploid strawberry (Fragaria vesca) will be sequenced and released in 2010. The effort was led by an international consortium representing over 40 institutions and the efforts of countless researchers. Details can be found at

A formal presentation of the current state of the draft sequence was presented by Dr. Vladimir Shulaev at the Plant Animal Genome Conference in San Diego on December 9th, 2010 (editor’s note: as pointed out in the comments this was almost certainly intended to read January 9th, 2010). This presentation was potentially misinterpreted as a formal announcement, and a conversation with a scientist on the project laced the above article with inaccurate interpretations.

The draft sequence will be published shortly after complete analysis and peer review. The above article is not accurate in many facets and should not in any way be considered representative of the scientific efforts of the Strawberry Genome Sequencing Consortium.

The work was also supported by many organizations in addition to Roche, with substantial financial and other commitments from sources including (but absolutely not limited to) Virginia Tech, IASMA Research Center (Italy) University of Florida, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates, Plant and Food Research (New Zealand) and the USDA.

A formal retraction of the initial press release is being pursued.

Kevin M. Folta
University of Florida, on behalf of Dr. Vladimir Shulaev and the Strawberry Genome Sequencing Consortium

From the outside it is hard to know exactly what happened but clearly SOMEONE jumped the gun and the internet echo chamber, of which I’m apparently now a component, swung into motion.

My apologies go out to everyone involved in the strawberry genome sequencing project, and anyone who was reading about the woodland strawberry genome here who got as excited as I did about the possibilities.

I’d still be fascinated to load a pre-release version of the strawberry genome into CoGe when/if it becomes available. And speaking as someone who has done gene annotation work previously on an newly sequenced genome CoGe is a GREAT tool to have ¬†when one is sanity checking gene models and contig assembly.