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The genome of Prunus mume unraveled improving the quality of genomic research

The genome of Prunus mume unraveled improving the quality of genomic research

In an article entitled, “The genome of Prunus mume”, Published 27 Dec 2012, issue of Nature Communications 3:1318 Pp 1–8, the lead author Qixiang Zhang with thirty one other associates from five research groups have concluded the first genomic sequence of Prunus mume, known as Chinese plum. The researchers sequenced the genome of P. mume (a wild species from Tibet in China) using a robust approach with next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. 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 possible efforts, researchers finally yielded the ~237Mb P. mume genome. Moreover, researchers successfully reconstructed nine ancestral chromosomes of the Rosaceae family, and analyzed the chromosome fusion, fission and duplication history in three major subfamilies including genera Prunus, Malus and Fragaria. They hypothesized that at least 11 fissions and 11 fusions occurred in P. mume from the nine common ancestral chromosomes. Researchers also investigated the genetic characteristics underlying the mechanisms related to acclimation to cold weather and its release from dormancy. They found that dormancy-associated MADS-box transcription factors (DAM) family and C-repeat-binding transcription factors (CBF) were two important factors related with flowering dormancy. In this study, researchers stated many related genes expanded tremendously in the P. mume genome, such as leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase (LRR-RLK) genes, the nucleotide-binding site-coding resistant gene (NBS-coding R gene), and pathogenesis-related (PR) gene families. Most PR gene families in P. mume were stretched notably especially PR10, suggesting their expansion might be related to the response of P. mume to salt, drought and fungal infection in roots and leaves. Furthermore, the P. mume genome lays a solid foundation for identification of important economic traits and provides a valuable resource for P. mume breeding and other Rosaceae species studies. The work here also brings a new approach for further exploring the biosynthesis of floral scent and regulation mechanism of early blooming in endodormancy and other comparative genomics studies on Rosaceae species. [summarized by Samsad Razzaque -a graduate student from DMB]

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