After helping promote community genome and microbiome projects such as the Puerto Rican “peoples parrot”, Azolla Genome, Kittybiome, and the community cactus, the team at BGI-HK, in collaboration with CUHK, has finally decided to launch their own: sequencing the Bauhinia genome.
A mystery lies behind the origin of the Hong Kong Orchid Bauhinia blakeana, HK’s national emblem: how and why did it end up in the country? Genetically it is a sterile hybrid (and really, more of a legume than an orchid). No species of the genus has had its genome sequenced yet.
This will be the first Hong Kong genome project: funded by the public; sequenced in Hong Kong; assembled and analyzed by local students; and directly shared with the community. An important part of the project is community involvement and outreach – Bauhinia Watch is their citizen science project for people to report locations of Bauhinia and its relatives, while the project’s website will provide info on the science behind the sequencing and other facts on Bauhinia
Enough money has been raised so far to fund the transcriptome; the next goal is to get enough funds on Indiegogo to start sequencing the genomes of the family members. To find out how to support this project or for more details, visit: http://bauhiniagenome.hk/