The first fern genome ever has been published online at fernbase.org. Four years ago 123 backers paid $22,160 to sequence the full genome of the fern Azolla filiculoides. The campaign raised 147% of the goal, which allowed for the complete sequence of not just one, but two ferns. The second fern sequenced is Salvinia cucullata.
The results of the study appear this month in the journal Nature Plants. You can read supporting press articles in Discover Magazine, Nature, and Cornell Chronicle.
Fay-Wei who is a professor at the Boyce Thompson Institute started this project in 2014 as a graduate student at Duke University with his advisor Kathleen Pryer. Kathleen, a Professor at Duke, had tried to get this project funded for nearly two decades, but was met with response like ‘too unconventional’ and ‘not important enough’.
With the collective financial support of just 123 individuals, Fay-Wei and Kathleen's team has now achieved the dream of sequencing and publishing the first (and second) whole genome sequence of a fern.