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Dr. Sven Buerki, Dr. Jen Forbey, and Collaborators from the GEM3 Idaho

EPSCOR team Create First-Ever Sagebrush Genome Sequence

“Now Boise State University Assistant Professor Sven Buerki, in collaboration with fellow GEM3 (Genes by Environment: Modeling-Mechanisms-Mapping) program researchers, has accomplished the same milestone for one of the west’s most iconic species: big sagebrush. Their achievement is published in the Oxford University Press publication G3 Genes|Genomes|Genetics.

To put this feat into perspective, the sagebrush genome is 2.3 times larger than the human genome and far more complex, due to the high genetic variability of the plant.

‘We have been able to sequence, for the first time, the sagebrush genome, which will act as a roadmap to estimate the effect of climate change on our ecosystem,’ Buerki said. ‘In addition, we developed the biotechnological tools to maintain the individual line serving to generate the genome, which allows us to test hypotheses (in the lab and the landscape) and basically turn sagebrush into a model organism (like the fly).'”