Of the two cultivated species of allopolyploid cotton, Gossypium barbadense produces extra-long fibers for the production of superior textiles. We sequenced its genome (AD)2 and performed a comparative analysis. We identified three bursts of retrotransposons from 20 million years ago (Mya) and a genome-wide uneven pseudogenization peak at 11-20 Mya, which likely contributed to genomic divergences. Among the 2,483 genes preferentially expressed in fiber, a cell elongation regulator, PRE1, is strikingly At biased and fiber specific, echoing the A-genome origin of spinnable fiber. The expansion of the PRE members implies a genetic factor that underlies fiber elongation. Mature cotton fiber consists of nearly pure cellulose. G. barbadense and G. hirsutum contain 29 and 30 cellulose synthase (CesA) genes, respectively; whereas most of these genes (>25) are expressed in fiber, genes for secondary cell wall biosynthesis exhibited a delayed and higher degree of up-regulation in G. barbadense compared with G. hirsutum, conferring an extended elongation stage and highly active secondary wall deposition during extra-long fiber development. The rapid diversification of sesquiterpene synthase genes in the gossypol pathway exemplifies the chemical diversity of lineage-specific secondary metabolites. The G. barbadense genome advances our understanding of allopolyploidy, which will help improve cotton fiber quality.
Journal: Scientific reports