This project is sequencing, assembling and annotating the genome of a British Ash Tree. This will assist scientists in the search for genes that may confer resistance to ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea).
Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London (QMUL) in Richard Buggs' lab are sequencing the genome of the European ash tree (Fraxinus excelsior), funded by an urgency grant awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council in 2013.
The tree being sequenced is the result of self-pollination by a tree growing in woodland in Oxfordshire. The controlled self-pollination of the parent tree was carried out by Dr David Boshier of Oxford University. The offspring from this self-pollination are growing at Paradise Wood in Oxfordshire, owned by the Earth Trust, and managed by Jo Clark. Tissue was collected from one of these trees in January 2013 and DNA was extracted from it by Jasmin Zohren (funded by MSC ITN "Intercrossing") at QMUL. Using flow cytometry, we estimated the 1C genome size of the tree to be 877 Mbp.
Raw DNA sequence data for the British ash genome were generated by Eurofins, and the data was assembled by Lizzy Sollars (funded by MSC ITN "Intercrossing") and Richard Buggs at QMUL, in collaboration with CLCbio, using open access and proprietary software. Assembly and analysis of the genome is being carried out on the QMUL-High Performance Computing MidPlus cluster, and servers at CLCbio.
In order to make ash genome data available as rapidly as possible to the community of scientists working on ash, we are making our assemblies available here as we produce them; see "Data" and "Tools" tabs above. Our most recent assembly (BATG-0.5) contains 89,514 scaffolds, with an N50 of 104 kbp, and total size of 868 Mbp. In this version we have also managed to separate out the organellar genomes to the best of our ability.
Since 2014 we have been collaborating with The Genome Analysis Centre in Norwich to improve and annotate the genome assembly. Full structural annotations are available for each assembly under the "Data" tab.
We ask all users to adhere to a data usage policy that is found here.
January 2016: A publication led by our collaborators Andrea Harper and Ian Bancroft at the University of York, on the discovery of transcriptomic markers for ash dieback susceptibility, can be found here (open access).