Comparative Transcriptomics of Strawberries (Fragaria spp.) Provides Insights into Evolutionary Patterns

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Qin,Xue,Li,Wang,Qia,Sun,Hang,Zhong,Yang,Huang,Jinl Qiao (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
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Abstract: Multiple closely related species with genomic sequences provide an ideal system for studies on comparative and evolutionary genomics, as well as the mechanism of speciation. The whole genome sequences of six strawberry species (Fragaria spp.) have been released, which provide one of the richest genomic resources of any plant genus. In this study, we first generated seven transcriptome sequences of Fragaria species de novo, with a total of 48,557--82,537 unigenes per species. Combined with 13 other species genomes in Rosales, we reconstructed a phylogenetic tree at the genomic level. The phylogenic tree shows that Fragaria closed grouped with Rubus and the Fragaria clade is divided into three subclades. East Asian species appeared in every subclade, suggesting that the genus originated in this area at ∼7.99 Mya. Four species found in mountains of Southwest China originated at ∼3.98 Mya, suggesting that rapid speciation occurred to adapt to changing environments following the uplift of the Qinghai--Tibet Plateau. Moreover, we identified 510 very significantly positively selected genes in the cultivated species F. × ananassa genome. This set of genes was enriched in functions related to specific agronomic traits, such as carbon metabolism and plant hormone signal transduction processes, which are directly related to fruit quality and flavor. These findings illustrate comprehensive evolutionary patterns in Fragaria and the genetic basis of fruit domestication of cultivated strawberry at the genomic/transcriptomic level.

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Language: English
Date: 2016

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