Eucalyptus grandis

Taxonomy: Eukaryota; Viridiplantae; Streptophyta; Streptophytina; Embryophyta; Tracheophyta; Euphyllophyta; Spermatophyta; Magnoliophyta; eudicotyledons; core eudicotyledons; rosids; Myrtales; Myrtaceae; Eucalyptus


Eucalyptus species, commonly referred to as eucalypts, are native to Australia and the islands to its north. They are generally long-lived, evergreen species belonging to the angiosperm family Myrtaceae. They occur naturally from sea level to the alpine tree line, from high rainfall to semi-arid zones and from the tropics to latitudes as high as 43° south.

Eucalypts are grown as exotic plantation species in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, South America and Asia, and, where climate allows it, in temperate regions of Europe, South America and Australia. They are utilized for a diverse array of products including sawn timber, mine props, poles, firewood, pulp, charcoal, essential oils, honey and tannin as well as for shade, shelter and soil reclamation. In rural communities of many developing countries, eucalypt wood is an important source of fuel and building material. In today’s "new carbon economy", eucalypts are receiving attention as fast-growing, short-rotation, renewable biomass crops for energy production.
A major challenge for the achievement of a sustainable energy future is our understanding of the molecular basis of superior growth and adaptation in woody plants suitable for biomass production. Eucalyptus species are among the fastest growing woody plants in the world and is the most valuable and most widely planted genus of plantation forest trees on a world-wide basis (approx. 18 million ha). Genome sequencing is essential to understand the basis of its superior properties and to extend these attributes to other species. Genomics will also allow us to adapt Eucalyptus trees for green energy production in regions where it cannot currently be grown. The unique evolutionary history, keystone ecological status and adaptation to marginal sites make Eucalyptus an excellent focus for expanding our knowledge of the evolution and adaptive biology of perennial plants.

Despite their commercial and ecological importance, genomic resources are only slowly becoming available for eucalypt species. A public genome sequencing effort would facilitate the development and application of such resources and leverage the release of several private resources into to the public domain. The genome that will be sequenced is that of Eucalyptus grandis. This species was selected as the target for genome sequencing by the International Eucalyptus Genome Network (EUCAGEN) It is one of the most widely used plantation eucalypts in the world, especially as a parental species of highly productive hybrid clones.

Our involment

Whole-genome shotgun sequencing will be carried out by JGI. Genome assembly will be carried out by the bioinformatics group at JGI in collaboration with our group, the bioinformatics labs at the Catholic University of Brasilia and EMBRAPA in Brazil, the National Bioinformatic Node (NBN) at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and CSIRO in Australia. The annotation of the Eucalyptus genome will be performed in parallel between JGI and our group (VIB-UGent). Both complete annotations will then be joined and combined to a final annotation. The platforms used by JGI (based on FgenesH and Genewise) and by VIB-UGent (based on Eugene) are intrinsically different and therefore complement each other for a better final performance. We will also develop a web-based bioinformatics resource in collaboration with bioinformatics groups in Brazil, South Africa, and Australia for the dissemination of genome information

In collaboration with



Myburg, A.A., Grattapaglia, D., Tuskan, G., Hellsten, U., Hayes, R.D., Grimwood, J., Jenkins, B., Lindquist, E., Tice, H., Bauer, D., Goodstein, D., Dubchak, I., Poliakov, A., Mizrachi, E., Kullan, A.R.K., van Jaarsveld, I., Hussey, S.G., Pinard, D., van der Merwe, K., Singh, N., Silva-Junior, O.B., Togawa, R.C., Pappas, M.R., Faria, D.A., Sansaloni, C.P., Petrol, C.D., Yang, X., Ranjan, P., Tschaplinski, T.J., Ye, Z., Li, T., Sterck, L., Vanneste, K., Murat, C., Soler, M., San Clemente, H., Saidi, N., Cassan-Wang, H., Dunand, C., Hefer, C.A., Bornberg-Bauer, E., Kersting, A.R., Vining, K., Amarasinghe, V., Ranik, M., Naithani, S., Elser, J., Boyd, A.E., Liston, A., Spatafora, J.W., Dharmwardhana, P., Raja, R., Sullivan, C., Romanel, E., Alves-Ferreira, M., Külheim, C., Foley, W., Carocha, V., Paiva, J., Kudrna, D., Brommonschenkel, S.H., Pasquali, G., Byrne, K., Rigault, P., Tibbits, J., Spokevicius, A., Jones, R.C., Steane, D.A., Vaillancourt, R.E., Potts, B.M., Joubert, Y., Barry, K., Pappas Jr., G.J., Strauss, S.H., Jaiswal, P., Grima-Pettenati, J., Salse, J., Van de Peer, Y., Rokhsar, D., Schmutz, J. (2014) The genome sequence of Eucalyptus grandis. Nature 510(7505):356–362.

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Bioinformatics & Evolutionary Genomics
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