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The first genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement
Date:12/27/2012

December 27, 2012, Shenzhen, China - A Chinese research team, led by Beijing Forestry University, BGI, Beijing Lin Fu Ke Yuan Flowers Co., Ltd, and other institutes, has completed the first genomic sequence of Prunus mume, known as mei. This work is extremely important for the deeper understanding of Rosaceae evolution and provides an invaluable resource for the improvement of fruit trees. The latest study was published online today in Nature Communication.

As one of the longest-lived flowering fruit trees, the P. mume was domesticated in China more than 3,000 years ago. It belongs to Rosaceae, the third most economically important plant family in temperate regions, and is characterized by high nutrition, medical value, and tolerance to low temperature in winter. Writers and artists have extolled the beauty of its flowers, and the blossom is considered to be the symbol of Chinese national spirit. The availability of P. mume genome will open a new way for better decoding the mysteries of this fascinating tree.

The plantation technique that makes P. mume so diverse--the artificial grafting--also makes their genomes difficult to assemble. In this study, researchers sequenced the genome of P. mume, a wild species from Tibet in China, using a robust approach integrated with next-generation sequencing (NGS) and whole-genome mapping (WGM) technologies. Then they constructed a high-density genetic map by applying restriction-site-associated DNA (RAD) marker strategy that further improves the quality of the genomic reference. Through all the efforts, researchers yielded the ~237Mb P. mume reference genome.

The poor phylogenetic resolution of the Rosaceae suggests rapid evolution within the family. In this study, the evolutionary analysis of P. mume genome demonstrated that there was no recent whole-genome duplication (WGD) event happened after the differentiation between P. mume and Malus x
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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
BGI Shenzhen
Source:Eurekalert

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