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Headshots of Phil McClean and Jeremy Schmutz
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Dry Bean Genome Research Highlighted

Authored on
Jul 21, 2022
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To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) has featured work done by North Dakota State University Department of Plant Sciences professor of dry bean genomics and genetics Phil McClean and colleagues. The team completed the sequencing and analysis of the common bean genome which is significant because dry beans are an excellent source of protein and provide income potential for poverty alleviation worldwide.

McClean and colleagues sequenced and analyzed the common bean genome, and their work was published in Nature Genetics in June 2014. The JGI cites the importance of beans for nutrition, income and improved soil health through nitrogen-fixation. The sequencing of the bean genome has helped breeders improve varieties worldwide, as well as advancing genome sequencing research technology. 

McClean has worked at NDSU since 1985 and was named the Dr. Charles Mode Endowed Professor of Genomics Research in 2020. He led the bean sequencing project with Jeremy Schmutz of the JGI and the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, Dan Rokhsar of the JGI and Scott Jackson of the University of Georgia.  NDSU dry bean breeder Juan Osorno also worked on the project.

The article featuring the research for the JGI 25th anniversary is at https://jgi.doe.gov/jgi-at-25-building-a-better-bean/

A video of McClean and Schmutz discussing the research is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuymwfkLS1M

The Nature Genetics article can be found at https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3008