First strawberry complete genome release

Strawberries are plants in the Rosaceae family that are widely cultivated worldwide. There are about 25 species and are abundant in ploidy, ranging from diploid to decaploidy. As a strawberry diploid model species, forest strawberry has great research value. In 2018, GigaScience published v4.0 using PacBio SMRT third-generation sequencing technology. In 2019, Huazhong Agricultural University published a new version v4.0a2 with heavy annotations on forest strawberry v4.0 in Horticultural Research. It has greatly promoted the genomics, molecular biology and genetics research of strawberries and other Rosaceae plants, but there is still room for improvement in genome quality, and it still does not reach the complete telomere to telomere (T2T) level. At present, whether strawberries are cultivated or model strawberries, there is no complete genome, which greatly affects the progress of strawberry genetic research and molecular breeding.


Photo courtesy of Nanjing Agricultural University

Recently, the strawberry research team of Nanjing Agricultural University and the tropical crop research team of Hainan University published a paper online in “Horticultural Research”, using ultra-long ONT and PacBio HIFI sequencing technology to assemble the complete genome of forest strawberry, annotate and analyze it, and construct a karyotype evolution model to explore the ancestor diploid of octaploid strawberry.

The appearance and various organs of the model strawberry used in the sequencing indicate that the model strawberry is a good material for strawberry genetics and breeding.   Photo courtesy of Chen Fei


Photo courtesy of Nanjing Agricultural University

The new version v6.0 fills all remaining assembly gaps in the currently available reference genome. In addition, a total of 14 telomeres and 7 centromeres on 7 chromosomes were identified. Compared with v4.0a2, the number of coding proteins in subsequent annotations increased by 1153, and BUSCO was 98.8%, which was a significant increase. By constructing a model of chromosomal karyotype evolution, F. Viridis and F. Vesca is an octupoid strawberry F. × ananassa’s ancestor diploid, while F. ananassa’s ancestor diploid. iinumae and F. Nipponica is distantly related to its relatives. The research team integrated the data into a strawberry genome database they developed.

In summary, this study uses novel sequencing technology to reassemble and annotate the forest strawberry genome to obtain a complete genome, which provides an important resource for the genetic improvement of strawberries and the genomics genetic breeding research of Rosaceae. (Source: Zhang Qingdan, China Science News)

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