Nature Sub-Journal of Huazhong Agricultural University Announces New Sequencing Results

Researchers from Huazhong Agricultural University, Singapore Genome Researchers, and the University of California, Riverside and other institutions reported that they have drawn a sketch of the sweet orange genome, providing valuable resources for understanding and improving many important citrus traits in the future. . Related results were published in the journal Nature Genetics on November 25.

Leading this research are Professor Xiu-Xin Deng and Professor Yijun Ruan of Huazhong Agricultural University. Professor Deng Xiuxin is a famous fruit tree scientist in China. The research fields are mainly fruit tree biotechnology, genetic improvement of horticultural crops and evaluation and utilization of plant germplasm resources. In 2007, he was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Professor Ruan Yijun has long been engaged in genomics research and is an internationally renowned strategic scientist in the field of genomics research. He has published more than 40 high-level academic papers in international authoritative journals such as Nature (6 articles), Science (1 article), and Cell (2 articles). In 2011, he was hired as an expert in the "Thousand Talents Program" of Huazhong Agricultural University.

Citrus (Citrus) is a large genus, containing several important cultivars C. sinensis, orange (Citrus reticulata), lemon (Citrus limon), pomelo (Citrus grandis) and grapefruit (Citrus paradisi). According to the statistics of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the global citrus cultivation area reached 9 million hectares in 2009, and the output reached 122.3 million tons, ranking first among all fruit crops. In addition, citrus fruits and juices are also the main sources of vitamin C, an important nutrient in humans.

Citrus fruits also have some unique botanical characteristics, such as nucellar embryos (nuclear cells can develop into apomictic embryos with the same genes as the mother plant). Therefore, somatic embryos grow more vigorously than zygotic embryos, and the seedlings are basically clones of the female parent. These unique characteristics hinder citrus genetics research and breeding improvement. Sequencing the entire genome will provide valuable genetic resources for improving citrus crops.

Citrus is believed to be native to Southeast Asia, and people began to cultivate these fruit crops at least 4,000 years ago. Although there are some speculations that sweet oranges may be derived from interspecific hybrids of some primitive citrus species, its genetic origin is currently unclear. Citrus belongs to the order Sapindales, a sister group of Brassicales, so it is very valuable for the comparative genome research of the model plant Arabidopsis.

In this article, the researchers completed the gene sequencing of Valencia sweet orange (Valencia sweet orange). Valencia Sweet Orange Sweet orange is one of the most important sweet orange varieties and is grown globally, mainly for juice production. Ordinary sweet orange is diploid, with 9 pairs of chromosomes, and the estimated genome size is about 367 Mb. In order to reduce the complexity of sequencing genomes, the researchers obtained a double haploid strain of the sweet orange of Perencia. They first generated a whole genome shotgun paired-end-tag sequence read from double-haploid genomic DNA. Subsequently, shotgun sequencing reads from the parental diploid DNA were generated, and the sequence was mapped to the haploid reference genome to obtain the complete genomic information of Valencia Sweet Orange.

In addition, the researchers also used shotgun RNA sequencing to perform extensive transcriptome sequencing on four representative tissues to capture all transcribed sequences and RNA double-ended tags (RNA-PET) to identify the 5 ′ and 3 ′ ends of all transcripts. Based on DNA and RNA sequencing data, the researchers predicted that there are 29,445 protein-coding genes, half of which are heterozygous. Sequencing two other citrus varieties, and comparing and analyzing 7 citrus genomes, the research data showed that sweet orange originated from the backcross hybrid of pummelo and mandarin. Focusing on the analysis of genes involved in vitamin C metabolism shows that the GalUR gene encoding the rate-limiting enzyme of the galacturonic acid signal pathway is significantly upregulated in citrus fruits, and the expansion of this gene family may provide a genomic basis for this.

The newly researched genome and transcriptome analysis provides us with new knowledge about the origin of sweet orange and the basis of vitamin C metabolism genome, and provides abundant genetic information resources for citrus breeding and genetic improvement.

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