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BAP, BRIDGE, BIOTECH: Sequencing of yeast chromosomes opens path to further research

Under the current specific programme of biotechnology research for innovation, development and growth in Europe, BRIDGE (1990-1994), it is expected that 1993 will see the complete analysis of yeast chromosomes II and XI. Teams are also working on the sequencing of chromosomes ...
Under the current specific programme of biotechnology research for innovation, development and growth in Europe, BRIDGE (1990-1994), it is expected that 1993 will see the complete analysis of yeast chromosomes II and XI. Teams are also working on the sequencing of chromosomes VIII, X, XIV and XV.

A consortium of 35 European laboratories in the framework of the Community's biotechnology action programme, BAP, (1985-1989) succeeded in establishing the full sequence of yeast chromosome III during 1989-1991 (the first time the chromosome of a living organism has been completely analysed).

It is now predicted that all 16 chromosomes of the yeast genome will be fully analysed by the year 1998, with over half this work carried out in European laboratories.

Of the 182 gene sequences which make up yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) chromosome III, some 90 (known as "REC" genes) have no observed similarities with genes previously sequenced in other living organisms, and as yet the enzyme activity of their protein is not understood.

In order to investigate the function of these genes, a pilot project launched under the specific programme of RTD in the field of biotechnology (BIOTECH, 1990-1994) brings together five Community laboratories and involves a Community budget of some ECU 800,000. Work will take place under Area 1 of the programme (Molecular approaches: Protein structure and function, structure of genes, expression of genes).

This research, together with the continuing sequencing of the yeast genome, is expected to create a large number of spin-offs in the agro-food and pharmaceutical industries, where yeast is widely used. Such research also paves the way for future analysis of the far more complex genomes of plants, animals and man.

Source: Commission, DG XIII/D-2

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Biotechnology