Plan to sequence all genomes of euglenoids over the next decade

November 22, 2022 |

In the UK, an ambitious plan to sequence the genomes of all known species of euglenoids over the next decade has been launched. The network of scientists behind the initiative believe it has the potential to drive breakthroughs ranging from new biofuels and sustainable foods to cancer medicines.

The Euglena International Network (EIN), founded in 2020, is a global consortium of hundreds of scientists around the world with the collective goal of supporting euglenoid science through collaborative and integrative omics between academics and industry. Professor Rob Field, director of the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, sits on the steering committee for the EIN and he and his lab will be part of the cross-discplinary network of scientists working to understand and discover the capabilities of the 800-strong species and strains of Euglena.

The EIN has published a position paper in Biology Open, outlining the case for a concerted effort to generate high quality reference genomes for the nearly 1,000 known species of euglenoids.

Euglenoids are part of the protist group, home to eukaryotic organisms that do not fit into animal, plant, or fungi groups. These diverse single-celled organisms are found in an exceptionally wide range of ecosystems around the world.

Multiple euglenoid species have translational applications, showing great promise in the production of biofuels, nutraceuticals, bioremediation, cancer treatments, and even as robotics design simulators. Their enormous potential has been largely untapped due to a lack of high-quality reference genomes.

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Category: Research

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