Gene Content Analysis of Sugarcane Public ESTs Reveals Thousands of Missing Coding-Genes and an Unexpected Pool of Grasses Conserved ncRNAs
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Sugarcane is the most important crop for sugar industry and raw material for bioethanol. Here we present a quantitative analysis of the gene content from publicly available sugarcane ESTs. The current sugarcane EST collection sampled orthologs for ~58 % of the closely-related sorghum proteome, suggesting that more than 10,000 sugarcane coding-genes remain undiscovered. Moreover the existence of more than 2,000 ncRNAs conserved between sugarcane and sorghum was revealed, among which over 500 are also detected in rice, supporting the existence of hundreds of conserved ncRNAs in grasses. New efforts towards sugarcane transcriptome sequencing were needed to sample the missing coding-genes as well as to expand the catalog of ncRNAs. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.