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The Pea Genome sequenced !

The genome of Gregor Mendel's model plant, the pea, has just been sequenced by an international consortium including IPS2.


An international consortium coordinated by INRA managed to decipher the pea genome for the first time. This genome is very rich in transposable elements and has a size of 4.5 Gb. Traditional global sequencing methods alone have proven to be ineffective. The consortium exploited a combination of technologies that included PacBio sequencing and the use of physical maps made by BioNano and BAC library techniques. Abdelhafid Bendahmane, an IPS2 researcher and his team humbly contributed to this major advance in genomics by producing a BAC library of 400,000 clones.


Pea is a very important agronomic species capable of fixing nitrogen thanks to the bacterial symbiosis, used in animal and human nutrition. However, its cultivation is threatened by multiple biotic and abiotic stresses that do not allow stable and sufficient yields. As a result, France imports other vegetable proteins to fill the gap. The sequenced genome is a tremendous opportunity to accelerate research on this species.


For example, the EPITRANS platform of IPS2, recognized as an INRA Collective Scientific Infrastructure, has the mission of studying the epigenome of cultivated plants and cloning and creating alleles of agronomic interest. This genome will greatly accelerate these activities on pea.


A reference genome for pea provides insight into legume genome evolution. Kreplak et al., Nature Genetics volume 51, pages1411–1422 (2019)