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Authors: Hu, Yan and Chen, Jiedan and Fang, Lei and Zhang, Zhiyuan and Ma, Wei and Niu, Yongchao and Ju, Longzhen and Deng, Jieqiong and Zhao, Ting and Lian, Jinmin and Baruch, Kobi and Fang, David and Liu, Xia and Ruan, Yong-Ling and Rahman, Mehboob-Ur and Han, Jinlei and Wang, Kai and Wang, Qiong and Wu, Huaitong and Mei, Gaofu and Zang, Yihao and Han, Zegang and Xu, Chenyu and Shen, Weijuan and Yang, Duofeng and Si, Zhanfeng and Dai, Fan and Zou, Liangfeng and Huang, Fei and Bai, Yulin and Zhang, Yugao and Brodt, Avital and Ben-Hamo, Hilla and Zhu, Xiefei and Zhou, Baoliang and Guan, Xueying and Zhu, Shuijin and Chen, Xiaoya and Zhang, Tianzhen

Allotetraploid cotton is an economically important natural-fiber-producing crop worldwide. After polyploidization, Gossypium hirsutum L. evolved to produce a higher fiber yield and to better survive harsh environments than Gossypium barbadense, which produces superior-quality fibers. The global genetic and molecular bases for these interspecies divergences were unknown. Here we report high-quality de novo-assembled genomes for these two cultivated allotetraploid species with pronounced improvement in repetitive-DNA-enriched centromeric regions. Whole-genome comparative analyses revealed that species-specific alterations in gene expression, structural variations and expanded gene families were responsible for speciation and the evolutionary history of these species. These findings help to elucidate the evolution of cotton genomes and their domestication history. The information generated not only should enable breeders to improve fiber quality and resilience to ever-changing environmental conditions but also can be translated to other crops for better understanding of their domestication history and use in improvement.

Journal: Nature genetics
DOI: 10.1038/s41588-019-0371-5
Year: 2019

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