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      Species name: Noug (Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass.)
    Noug is an oil-seed crop, indigenous to Ethiopia and holds significant promise for improving rural livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is of economic significance not only for domestic consumption in countries where it is grown, but also as an export commodity to North America and Europe, where it is mainly sold as bird-feed under it's English name Nigerseed (or "Thistle seed"). The species is used in intercropping systems, grows on poor but also extremely wet soils, and contributes to soil conservation. While not fully domesticated, and suffering from low yields and susceptibility to insect herbivores, it contributes up to 50% of the Ethiopian oil-seed crop. The oil content of noug seed varies from 30 to 50%. The fatty acid composition is typical for seed oils of the Compositae family with linoleic acid being the dominant component.

    Recent classifications place the noug in subfamily Asteroideae, tribe Millerieae, and subtribe Milleriinae. It is fairly closely related to sunflower, but differs from domesticated sunflower mainly due to its high level of branching, numerous flower heads and small seeds. Noug is genetically diploid (n=15;, with a genome size of circa 3,765 Mbp (
      Images of Guizotia abyssinica
      Figure 1: Photo from:
      Figure 2: Photo from:
      Figure 3: Photo by Tracey Slotta. Provided by ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory.
      Figure 4: Noug seed. Photograph by Scott Black.
      CGP Activities
    We generated the Sanger ESTs described above to determine the distribution of whole genome duplications in the Compositae and to provide a resource for functional studies. In addition, EST sequencing with Illumina is underway to identify genomic regions associated with domestication and to develop SSRs and SNPs for phylogeographic studies, genetic mapping, and QTL analyses.
    Barker MS, NC Kane, A Kozik, RW Michelmore, M Matvienko, SJ Knapp, and LH Rieseberg. 2008. Multiple paleopolyploidizations during the evolution of the Asteraceae reveal parallel patterns of duplicate gene retention after millions of years. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25:2445-2455.

    Dempewolf, H., N.C. Kane, K.L. Ostevik, M. Geleta, M.S. Barker, Z. Lai, M.L Stewart, E. Bekele, J.M.M. Engels, Q.C.B. Cronk, L.H. Rieseberg. 2010. Establishing genomic tools and resources for Guizotia abyssinica (L.f.) Cass. the development of a library of expressed sequence tags, microsatellite loci and the sequencing of its chloroplast genome. Molecular Ecology Resources 10:1048-1058.
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