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The final piece of the Triangle of U: Evolution of the tetraploid Brassica carinata genome
Bird, Kevin A
Ham, Hyun don
Kirkwood, Jay S
Solomon, Juan K Q
Harper, Jeffrey F
Kosma, Dylan K
Cushman, John C
Edger, Patrick P
Mason, Annaliese S
Pires, J Chris
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Ethiopian mustard (Brassica carinata) is an ancient crop with remarkable stress resilience and a desirable seed fatty acid profile for biofuel uses. Brassica carinata is one of six Brassica species that share three major genomes from three diploid species (AA, BB, and CC) that spontaneously hybridized in a pairwise manner to form three allotetraploid species (AABB, AACC, and BBCC). Of the genomes of these species, that of B. carinata is the least understood. Here, we report a chromosome scale 1.31-Gbp genome assembly with 156.9-fold sequencing coverage for B. carinata, completing the reference genomes comprising the classic Triangle of U, a classical theory of the evolutionary relationships among these six species. Our assembly provides insights into the hybridization event that led to the current B. carinata genome and the genomic features that gave rise to the superior agronomic traits of B. carinata. Notably, we identified an expansion of transcription factor networks and agronomically important gene families. Completion of the Triangle of U comparative genomics platform has allowed us to examine the dynamics of polyploid evolution and the role of subgenome dominance in the domestication and continuing agronomic improvement of B. carinata and other Brassica species.
Background: Brassica carinata (Ethiopian mustard) is an ancient crop from the Ethiopian highlands with remarkable heat and drought tolerance that has potential as a sustainable oil source for biofuel production. The resilience of this species might be due to hybrid vigor, as B. carinata is a species derived from a hybridization between Brassica nigra (black mustard) and Brassica oleracea (kale, broccoli, etc.). Thus, the B. carinata genome is allotetraploid with two parental genomes, or subgenomes, merged in one nucleus. We present a high-quality, chromosome-scale reference assembly of the B. carinata genome, which is the last of six genomes comprising the classic Triangle of U model used to study hybridization and polyploid evolution. Question: Here, we compare B. carinata to the other Triangle of U genomes for insight into the remarkable heat and drought tolerance of this crop. We investigate the evolutionary trajectory of the B. carinata genome as it returns to the diploid state to elucidate the mechanisms that act on duplicated genes, such as functional divergence of gene families and the biased fractionation of one subgenome. Findings: The B. carinata genome is the largest among the Triangle of U with notable expansions in repetitive DNA sequences and gene families related to transcriptional regulation and stress tolerance. We characterized patterns of subgenome bias, finding that the subgenome derived from B. nigra is likely dominant over the subgenome from B. oleracea. Furthermore, we comprehensively characterize subgenomic bias in homoeologous exchanges, or meiotic crossover between subgenomes, in the Triangle of U allotetraploids. Next steps: The presented B. carinata genome is a crucial resource for its expanded use as a biofuel feedstock and insight into polyploid evolution. Unraveling the genomic basis of the stress resilience of B. carinata provides an opportunity to introgress these traits to other cruciferous vegetables, which are used worldwide as vegetable and oil sources.
|Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
|American Society of Plant Biologists
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