Ash genome

Please visit our dedicated ash genome website at for latest updates and data.

The Buggs lab has sequenced and assembled the genome of the ash tree Fraxinus excelsior. This was published in Nature in January 2017. Our work was funded by an urgency grant from NERC, as part of a rapid response to the spread of ash dieback in the United Kingdom.

The whole genome sequence of a British ash tree contributes to a wider research programme to identify genes in ash conferring resistance to Hymenoscyphus fraxinea.

An interview on the project from the Radio 4 Today programme on 21/12/12 can be heard here. More details on the project can be heard on NERC’s 5/2/13 Planet Earth podcast.

The ash tree being sequenced has been sourced from Earth Trust, and is the offspring of a self-fertilisation of an ash tree in the Cotswolds, carried out by Dr David Boshier as part of the FRAXIGEN project.

The genome sequencing was carried out by Eurofins with a combination of two technologies: Roche 454 FLX++ and Illimina HiSeq 2000 (v. 3.0 chemistry).

Using a Partec flow cytometer, purchased our lab with a grant from the Royal Society,  we calculated the genome size of the ash tree that we are sequencing is approximately 880 Mbp. We have sequenced ~5 times coverage of this genome with 454 reads of modal length 950 bp and ~200 times coverage with Illumina paired reads, with insert sizes ranging from 200bp to Long Jumping Distance library of 40kbp. Methods and results are detailed on the ash genome website.