Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) is a pernicious weed in agricultural fields worldwide. The molecular mechanisms underlying its success in the absence of human intervention are presently unknown. Here we report a draft genome sequence of the hexaploid species E. crus-galli, i.e., a 1.27?Gb assembly representing 90.7% of the predicted genome size. An extremely large repertoire of genes encoding cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and glutathione S-transferases associated with detoxification are found. Two gene clusters involved in the biosynthesis of an allelochemical 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA) and a phytoalexin momilactone A are found in the E. crus-galli genome, respectively. The allelochemical DIMBOA gene cluster is activated in response to co-cultivation with rice, while the phytoalexin momilactone A gene cluster specifically to infection by pathogenic Pyricularia oryzae. Our results provide a new understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the extreme adaptation of the weed.
Journal: Nature communications