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Comparative and Functional Genomics
Volume 6 (2005), Issue 3, Pages 153-158
Conference paper

The Tomato Sequencing Project, the First Cornerstone of the International Solanaceae Project (SOL)

1Department of Plant Breeding, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA
2Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY, USA
3Department of Biology, Colorado University, Fort Collins, CO, USA
4KRIBB, Taejon, Korea
5Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
6Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
7Warwick HRI, Wellesbourne, UK
8Imperial College, London, UK
9SCRI Invergowrie, Dundee, UK
10University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad, India
11University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi, India
12National Centre For Plant Genome Research, New Delhi, India
13NRC on Plant Biotechnology, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
14Centre for BioSystems Genomics, Wageningen, The Netherlands
15University of Wageningen, Wageningen, The Netherlands
16Keygene, Wageningen, NV., The Netherlands
17Plant Research International, Wageningen, The Netherlands
18Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, Toulouse, France
19Kazusa, Chiba, Kisarazu, Japan
20Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Plantas Valencia, Spain
21University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain
22ENEA, Rome, Italy
23U Naples, Naples, Italy
24INRA, Avignon, France
25Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel

Received 31 January 2005; Accepted 2 February 2005

Copyright © 2005 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The genome of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is being sequenced by an international consortium of 10 countries (Korea, China, the United Kingdom, India, The Netherlands, France, Japan, Spain, Italy and the United States) as part of a larger initiative called the ‘International Solanaceae Genome Project (SOL): Systems Approach to Diversity and Adaptation’. The goal of this grassroots initiative, launched in November 2003, is to establish a network of information, resources and scientists to ultimately tackle two of the most significant questions in plant biology and agriculture: (1) How can a common set of genes/proteins give rise to a wide range of morphologically and ecologically distinct organisms that occupy our planet? (2) How can a deeper understanding of the genetic basis of plant diversity be harnessed to better meet the needs of society in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner? The Solanaceae and closely related species such as coffee, which are included in the scope of the SOL project, are ideally suited to address both of these questions. The first step of the SOL project is to use an ordered BAC approach to generate a high quality sequence for the euchromatic portions of the tomato as a reference for the Solanaceae. Due to the high level of macro and micro-synteny in the Solanaceae the BAC-by-BAC tomato sequence will form the framework for shotgun sequencing of other species. The starting point for sequencing the genome is BACs anchored to the genetic map by overgo hybridization and AFLP technology. The overgos are derived from approximately 1500 markers from the tomato high density F2-2000 genetic map (http://sgn.cornell.edu/). These seed BACs will be used as anchors from which to radiate the tiling path using BAC end sequence data. Annotation will be performed according to SOL project guidelines. All the information generated under the SOL umbrella will be made available in a comprehensive website. The information will be interlinked with the ultimate goal that the comparative biology of the Solanaceae—and beyond—achieves a context that will facilitate a systems biology approach.