Suzano's biotech division FuturaGene and Corteva Agriscience boost tree genetics research by donating highest quality publicly available dataset of eucalyptus genome; it will be freely accessible, allowing further research into production of biomaterials

Sample article from our Forestry & Timberland

January 16, 2023 (press release) –

FuturaGene, the biotech division of Suzano - the world’s largest hardwood pulp producer - will make available the highest quality Eucalyptus genome sequence ever released to the public, in collaboration with Corteva Agriscience. This will support open-source science as the genome will be freely accessible to both public and private scientists, allowing further research into the sustainable production of biomaterials for one of the world’s most economically important crops.

Fast-growing commercial planted eucalyptus are among the most important global sources of wood, pulp and other fiber-based products, which can be used as raw materials to replace fossil fuel-derived products.

The enhanced genome sequence data will be made freely available to academia, the private sector and the wider scientific community to facilitate research to advance understanding and innovation in eucalyptus cultivation, including the identification and selection of beneficial traits for crop resilience, forest health and sustainable wood production.

Dr. Mike May, FuturaGene’s VP for Public Affairs said:

“Building on FuturaGene’s heritage with over two decades of tree genetics research, we hope that by publicly releasing this enhanced genome sequence we will help strengthen the global research community on eucalyptus. The release of this genome to the public is in line with FuturaGene’s continued intent to share the value of our research and encourage sustainable innovation to better the planet.”

Glenn Brooke, Senior Strategic Relationship Manager for Corteva Agriscience said:

“This improved sequence will be an essential tool for expanding efforts in molecular breeding of Eucalyptus. As we face increasing demand for wood and wood-based products, this dataset will benefit the scientific community’s understanding of Eucalyptus, one of the most sustainable renewable wood crops, ensuring that globally we can improve the crop’s resilience and ensure farming can be done efficiently, effectively and sustainably.”

Suzano previously donated an E. grandis clone, BRASUZ1, for use in a public Eucalyptus genome project in 2014.  In the context of its ongoing discovery efforts, driven by bioinformatics and genomics, FuturaGene has now worked with Corteva’s Plant Genomics group to produce a more accurate genome sequence, derived from a leading eucalyptus research clone from FuturaGene, which is a hybrid of E. grandis and E. urophylla. This clone, together with a gene transformation protocol, was previously provided to the GREAT TREES Cooperative at Oregon State University.

The new high-quality, fully-phased genome, has been uploaded to the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s GenBank, BioProject ID: PRJNA913125 and will be available from 12 January 2023 (BioProject – NCBI (nih.gov)). In addition, an annotation data file will be shared through the FuturaGene website (https://www.futuragene.com/shared-value/).

Scientists from FuturaGene, and Corteva will share the detailed sequencing methods of this project at the upcoming Plant and Animal Genome Conference in San Diego, taking place from 13-18 January 2023. It is hoped that the methodology used will prove helpful in future genomics work with eucalyptus, including projects that may contribute to ensuring food security and improved forest health.

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Dan Rivard
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