September 22, 2019  |  

A reference genome of the European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.).

Authors: Mishra, Bagdevi and Gupta, Deepak K and Pfenninger, Markus and Hickler, Thomas and Langer, Ewald and Nam, Bora and Paule, Juraj and Sharma, Rahul and Ulaszewski, Bartosz and Warmbier, Joanna and Burczyk, Jaroslaw and Thines, Marco

The European beech is arguably the most important climax broad-leaved tree species in Central Europe, widely planted for its valuable wood. Here, we report the 542 Mb draft genome sequence of an up to 300-year-old individual (Bhaga) from an undisturbed stand in the Kellerwald-Edersee National Park in central Germany.Using a hybrid assembly approach, Illumina reads with short- and long-insert libraries, coupled with long Pacific Biosciences reads, we obtained an assembled genome size of 542 Mb, in line with flow cytometric genome size estimation. The largest scaffold was of 1.15 Mb, the N50 length was 145 kb, and the L50 count was 983. The assembly contained 0.12% of Ns. A Benchmarking with Universal Single-Copy Orthologs (BUSCO) analysis retrieved 94% complete BUSCO genes, well in the range of other high-quality draft genomes of trees. A total of 62,012 protein-coding genes were predicted, assisted by transcriptome sequencing. In addition, we are reporting an efficient method for extracting high-molecular-weight DNA from dormant buds, by which contamination by environmental bacteria and fungi was kept at a minimum.The assembled genome will be a valuable resource and reference for future population genomics studies on the evolution and past climate change adaptation of beech and will be helpful for identifying genes, e.g., involved in drought tolerance, in order to select and breed individuals to adapt forestry to climate change in Europe. A continuously updated genome browser and download page can be accessed from, which will include future genome versions of the reference individual Bhaga, as new sequencing approaches develop.

Journal: GigaScience
DOI: 10.1093/gigascience/giy063
Year: 2018

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