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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Vegetative compatibility groups partition variation in the virulence of Verticillium dahliae on strawberry.

Verticillium dahliae infection of strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a major cause of disease-induced wilting in soil-grown strawberries across the world. To understand what components of the pathogen are affecting disease expression, the presence of the known effector VdAve1 was screened in a sample of Verticillium dahliae isolates. Isolates from strawberry were found to contain VdAve1 and were divided into two major clades, based upon their vegetative compatibility groups (VCG); no UK strawberry isolates contained VdAve1. VC clade was strongly related to their virulence levels. VdAve1-containing isolates pathogenic on strawberry were found in both clades, in contrast to some recently…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Assembly and analysis of a qingke reference genome demonstrate its close genetic relation to modern cultivated barley.

Qingke, the local name of hulless barley in the Tibetan Plateau, is a staple food for Tibetans. The availability of its reference genome sequences could be useful for studies on breeding and molecular evolution. Taking advantage of the third-generation sequencer (PacBio), we de novo assembled a 4.84-Gb genome sequence of qingke, cv. Zangqing320 and anchored a 4.59-Gb sequence to seven chromosomes. Of the 46,787 annotated ‘high-confidence’ genes, 31 564 were validated by RNA-sequencing data of 39 wild and cultivated barley genotypes with wide genetic diversity, and the results were also confirmed by nonredundant protein database from NCBI. As some gaps in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Draft genome sequence of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis provides insights into the evolution of the tea genome and tea quality.

Tea, one of the world’s most important beverage crops, provides numerous secondary metabolites that account for its rich taste and health benefits. Here we present a high-quality sequence of the genome of tea, Camellia sinensis var. sinensis (CSS), using both Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies. At least 64% of the 3.1-Gb genome assembly consists of repetitive sequences, and the rest yields 33,932 high-confidence predictions of encoded proteins. Divergence between two major lineages, CSS and Camellia sinensis var. assamica (CSA), is calculated to ~0.38 to 1.54 million years ago (Mya). Analysis of genic collinearity reveals that the tea genome is the…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

A mosaic monoploid reference sequence for the highly complex genome of sugarcane.

Sugarcane (Saccharum spp.) is a major crop for sugar and bioenergy production. Its highly polyploid, aneuploid, heterozygous, and interspecific genome poses major challenges for producing a reference sequence. We exploited colinearity with sorghum to produce a BAC-based monoploid genome sequence of sugarcane. A minimum tiling path of 4660 sugarcane BAC that best covers the gene-rich part of the sorghum genome was selected based on whole-genome profiling, sequenced, and assembled in a 382-Mb single tiling path of a high-quality sequence. A total of 25,316 protein-coding gene models are predicted, 17% of which display no colinearity with their sorghum orthologs. We show…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Improved Brassica rapa reference genome by single-molecule sequencing and chromosome conformation capture technologies.

Brassica rapa comprises several important cultivated vegetables and oil crops. Current reference genome assemblies of Brassica rapa are quite fragmented and not highly contiguous, thereby limiting extensive genetic and genomic analyses. Here, we report an improved assembly of the B. rapa genome (v3.0) using single-molecule sequencing, optical mapping, and chromosome conformation capture technologies (Hi-C). Relative to the previous reference genomes, our assembly features a contig N50 size of 1.45?Mb, representing a ~30-fold improvement. We also identified a new event that occurred in the B. rapa genome ~1.2 million years ago, when a long terminal repeat retrotransposon (LTR-RT) expanded. Further analysis…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genomic approaches for studying crop evolution.

Understanding how crop plants evolved from their wild relatives and spread around the world can inform about the origins of agriculture. Here, we review how the rapid development of genomic resources and tools has made it possible to conduct genetic mapping and population genetic studies to unravel the molecular underpinnings of domestication and crop evolution in diverse crop species. We propose three future avenues for the study of crop evolution: establishment of high-quality reference genomes for crops and their wild relatives; genomic characterization of germplasm collections; and the adoption of novel methodologies such as archaeogenetics, epigenomics, and genome editing.

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Coix lacryma-jobi L.(Poaceae), a cereal and medicinal crop

Coix lacryma-jobi is a cereal and medicinal crop belonging to the Poaceae family. This study characterized complete chloroplast genome sequence of a Korean cultivar Johyun of C. lacryma-jobi var. ma-yuen through the de novo hybrid assembly with Illumina and PacBio genomic reads. The chloroplast genome is 140,863?bp long and composed of large single copy (82,827?bp), small single copy (12,522?bp), and a pair of inverted repeats (each 22,757?bp). A total of 123 genes including 87 protein-coding genes, 32 tRNA genes, and four rRNA genes were predicted in the genome. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed a close relationship of C. lacryma-jobi with species in…

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Sunday, September 22, 2019

Genome sequences of two diploid wild relatives of cultivated sweetpotato reveal targets for genetic improvement

Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] is a globally important staple food crop, especially for sub-Saharan Africa. Agronomic improvement of sweetpotato has lagged behind other major food crops due to a lack of genomic and genetic resources and inherent challenges in breeding a heterozygous, clonally propagated polyploid. Here, we report the genome sequences of its two diploid relatives, I. trifida and I. triloba, and show that these high-quality genome assemblies are robust references for hexaploid sweetpotato. Comparative and phylogenetic analyses reveal insights into the ancient whole-genome triplication history of Ipomoea and evolutionary relationships within the Batatas complex. Using resequencing data from…

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Saturday, September 21, 2019

A distinct and genetically diverse lineage of the hybrid fungal pathogen Verticillium longisporum population causes stem striping in British oilseed rape.

Population genetic structures illustrate evolutionary trajectories of organisms adapting to differential environmental conditions. Verticillium stem striping disease on oilseed rape was mainly observed in continental Europe, but has recently emerged in the United Kingdom. The disease is caused by the hybrid fungal species Verticillium longisporum that originates from at least three separate hybridization events, yet hybrids between Verticillium progenitor species A1 and D1 are mainly responsible for Verticillium stem striping. We reveal a hitherto un-described dichotomy within V. longisporum lineage A1/D1 that correlates with the geographic distribution of the isolates with an ‘A1/D1 West’ and an ‘A1/D1 East’ cluster. Genome…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Aluminum tolerance in maize is associated with higher MATE1 gene copy number.

Genome structure variation, including copy number variation and presence/absence variation, comprises a large extent of maize genetic diversity; however, its effect on phenotypes remains largely unexplored. Here, we describe how copy number variation underlies a rare allele that contributes to maize aluminum (Al) tolerance. Al toxicity is the primary limitation for crop production on acid soils, which make up 50% of the world’s potentially arable lands. In a recombinant inbred line mapping population, copy number variation of the Al tolerance gene multidrug and toxic compound extrusion 1 (MATE1) is the basis for the quantitative trait locus of largest effect on…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Progress, challenges and the future of crop genomes.

The availability of plant reference genomes has ushered in a new era of crop genomics. More than 100 plant genomes have been sequenced since 2000, 63% of which are crop species. These genome sequences provide insight into architecture, evolution and novel aspects of crop genomes such as the retention of key agronomic traits after whole genome duplication events. Some crops have very large, polyploid, repeat-rich genomes, which require innovative strategies for sequencing, assembly and analysis. Even low quality reference genomes have the potential to improve crop germplasm through genome-wide molecular markers, which decrease expensive phenotyping and breeding cycles. The next…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

SMRT sequencing only de novo assembly of the sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) chloroplast genome.

Third generation sequencing methods, like SMRT (Single Molecule, Real-Time) sequencing developed by Pacific Biosciences, offer much longer read length in comparison to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) methods. Hence, they are well suited for de novo- or re-sequencing projects. Sequences generated for these purposes will not only contain reads originating from the nuclear genome, but also a significant amount of reads originating from the organelles of the target organism. These reads are usually discarded but they can also be used for an assembly of organellar replicons. The long read length supports resolution of repetitive regions and repeats within the organelles genome…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The pineapple genome and the evolution of CAM photosynthesis.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus (L.) Merr.) is the most economically valuable crop possessing crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM), a photosynthetic carbon assimilation pathway with high water-use efficiency, and the second most important tropical fruit. We sequenced the genomes of pineapple varieties F153 and MD2 and a wild pineapple relative, Ananas bracteatus accession CB5. The pineapple genome has one fewer ancient whole-genome duplication event than sequenced grass genomes and a conserved karyotype with seven chromosomes from before the ? duplication event. The pineapple lineage has transitioned from C3 photosynthesis to CAM, with CAM-related genes exhibiting a diel expression pattern in photosynthetic tissues. CAM…

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Friday, July 19, 2019

The power of Single Molecule Real-Time sequencing technology in the de novo assembly of a eukaryotic genome.

Second-generation sequencers (SGS) have been game-changing, achieving cost-effective whole genome sequencing in many non-model organisms. However, a large portion of the genomes still remains unassembled. We reconstructed azuki bean (Vigna angularis) genome using single molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing technology and achieved the best contiguity and coverage among currently assembled legume crops. The SMRT-based assembly produced 100 times longer contigs with 100 times smaller amount of gaps compared to the SGS-based assemblies. A detailed comparison between the assemblies revealed that the SMRT-based assembly enabled a more comprehensive gene annotation than the SGS-based assemblies where thousands of genes were missing or fragmented.…

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