A promising alternative biofuel plant

01 October 2018 - By: Jim Ruddock

A promising alternative biofuel plant

Genome sequence of Jatropha curcas L., a non-edible biodiesel plant, provides a resource to improve seed-related traits

Jungmin Ha; Sangrea Shim; Taeyoung Lee; Yang Jae Kang; Won Joo Hwang; Haneul Jeong; Kularb Laosatit; Jayern Lee; Sue Kyung Kim; Dani Satywan; Puji Lestari; Min Young Yoon; Moon Young Kim; Annapurna Chitikineni; Patcharin Tanya; Prakit Somta; Peerasak Srinives; Rajeev K Varshney and Suk-Ha Lee. Plant Biotechnology Journal,

DOI: 10.1111/pbi.12995.



As a non-edible and drought tolerant biodiesel plant, physic nut or Jatropha is one of the most promising alternative energy sources for use in place of fossil fuels. In this article Ha et al. report a high-quality genome sequence of J. curcas var. Chai Nat, and provide an important platform for the functional genomics of the physic nut. A high-quality genome sequence and comprehensive transcriptome analysis may help in developing Jatropha elite cultivars to double seed oil production, and to facilitate evolutionary and comparative analysis in other plants, including the economically important crops: flax, poplar, rubber tree, cassava and castor bean. The authors sequenced the genome of J. curcas using Pacbio and Illumina platforms, resulting in an improved genome assembly compared with previously reported assemblies. The authors identified 48,162 genomic regions, with zero mapping depth Illumina reads covered by Pacbio long reads – explaining the fragmentation of previously published assemblies generated mainly using Illumina short reads. Based on this high quality genome sequence, along with comprehensive transcriptomic analysis of nine Jatropha species and nine different tissues of J. curcas, the genomic elements responsible for toxic compound biosynthesis, seed yield and oil content were emphasized. In doing so, the authors provide a valuable resource to facilitate functional and comparative genomics in the Euphorbiaceae family (Malpighiales order). These results may help researchers and breeders increase the energy efficiency of this important oil seed crop by improving yield and oil content, and eliminating toxic compounds in seed cake for animal feed.

Jim Ruddock, Managing Editor
Category: Journals
Jim Ruddock

Jim Ruddock

Jim Ruddock is the Editorial Manager for The Plant Journal and Plant Biotechnology Journal, and manages all processes of each journal through the peer review system – from submission to acceptance and export of final files to the Production department. Currently at Wiley, Jim has 23 year’s of experience working in science journal publishing environments in various capacities.