Israel's NRGene maps genome for three types of potatoes

FILE PHOTO: Gil Ronen, Co-founder and CEO of NRGene, an Israeli genomic big data company, gestures during his interview with Reuters at a field in Givat Brenner, Israel January 8, 2017. Picture taken January 8, 2017. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - Israel’s NRGene said on Tuesday it was working with a team of researchers from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands as well as commercial partners to create multi-genome mapping of potatoes.

NRGene has completed the assembly of three commercial varieties of potatoes, which are the fourth most consumed food crop in the world, and it is working on others.

The potato genome is complex, NRGene said, with each potato cell containing four nearly identical copies of each chromosome and gene.

Crop researchers use genomics analyses to get a complete picture of what needs to be done to increase yields, reduce resource requirements and address food scarcity, NRGene Chief Executive Gil Ronen said.

Reporting by Tova Cohen