This project is sequencing the genome of a British Ash Tree from the Cotswolds. 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 ash tree species Fraxinus excelsior, funded by an urgency grant from the Natural Environment Research Council.
The tree being sequenced is the result of self-pollination by a tree growing in woodland in the Cotswolds. 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 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 is being generated by Eurofins, and the data is being assembled by Lizzy Sollars 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. The initial assemblies will be rather fragmented, but as more data is generated and more complex assembly methods are used, contig lengths will increase. We ask all users to adhere to a data usage policy that is found here.
Planet Earth Podcast, 01/10/13 Using genetics to fight ash dieback; BBC Radio 4, 27/09/13 Ashes to Ashes; BBC News, 26/09/13 Ash trees also face insect threat; BBC News, 23/09/13 Scientists map UK ash tree genome; BBC1 News at One, BBC1 News at Six 12/6/13 Interview on ash dieback; Planet Earth, Summer 2013 The last stand?; Planet Earth Podcast, 5/2/13 Using genetics to save the ash tree; Today programme, BBC Radio 4, 21/12/12 Interview on ash dieback; Good Morning Scotland, BBC Scotland, 21/12/12 Interview on ash dieback; Laurence Reed Show, BBC Cornwall, 21/12/12 Interview on ash dieback; Planet Earth Online, 21/12/12 New genetics project could help save the ash tree,
FRAXBACK LONDON CONFERENCE ADVERTISEMENT
A one day conference, "Ash dieback in Europe: elaborating guidelines and strategies for sustainable management" will be held on 29th November 2013 at The Linnean Society of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BF. Speakers will include scientists working on ash dieback in France, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Austria and Lithuania. This conference is now sold out, but we plan to webcast it at www.fraxback.eu. This meeting is supported and organised by the European Cooperation in Science and Technology action FRAXBACK. A PDF of the programme is available here.
ESEB 2013 poster
The poster presented by QMUL PhD students Elizabeth Sollars and Jasmin Zohren at the ESEB 2013 conference in Lisbon (click on the image to view the PDF).