Genomic resources in fruit plants: an assessment of current status.

The availability of many genomic resources such as genome sequences, functional genomics resources including microarrays and RNA-seq, sufficient numbers of molecular markers, express sequence tags (ESTs) and high-density genetic maps is causing a rapid acceleration of genetics and genomic research of many fruit plants. This is leading to an increase in our knowledge of the genes that are linked to many horticultural and agronomically important traits. Recently, some progress has also been made on the identification and functional analysis of miRNAs in some fruit plants. This is one of the most active research fields in plant sciences. The last decade has witnessed development of genomic resources in many fruit plants such as apple, banana, citrus, grapes, papaya, pears, strawberry etc.; however, many of them are still not being exploited. Furthermore, owing to lack of resources, infrastructure and research facilities in many lesser-developed countries, development of genomic resources in many underutilized or less-studied fruit crops, which grow in these countries, is limited. Thus, research emphasis should be given to those fruit crops for which genomic resources are relatively scarce. The development of genomic databases of these less-studied fruit crops will enable biotechnologists to identify target genes that underlie key horticultural and agronomical traits. This review presents an overview of the current status of the development of genomic resources in fruit plants with the main emphasis being on genome sequencing, EST resources, functional genomics resources including microarray and RNA-seq, identification of quantitative trait loci and construction of genetic maps as well as efforts made on the identification and functional analysis of miRNAs in fruit plants.

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