Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement

Date:
December 27, 2012
Source:
BGI Shenzhen
Summary:
Biologists have 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.

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 December 27 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 domestica (apple). However, the triplicated genomic arrangement was found in the P. mume genome by paleo-history analysis in Prunus.

Supported by the genomic data of apple and strawberry (Fragaria vesca), researchers successfully reconstructed nine ancestral chromosomes of Rosaceae family, and analyzed the chromosome fusion, fission and duplication history in three major subfamilies, including genera Prunus, Malus and Fragaria. Through analysis, they hypothesized that at least 11 fissions and 11 fusions occurred in P. mume from the nine common ancestral chromosomes. For apple, at least one WGD and five fusions took place to reach the 17-chromosome structure, compared with 15 fusions for strawberry to affect the 7-chromosome structure.

P. mume is one of the first trees that bloom in early spring, blooming even below 0℃. In this study, researchers investigated the genetic characteristics underlying the mechanisms related to acclimate to cold weather and release itself 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.

As the saying goes, "Plum blossom incense from the cold weather," P. mume always has a special fragrance in winter. To understand its mechanism of floral scent, researchers identified a series genes related to the biosynthesis of volatile compounds, such as benzyl alcohol acetyltransferase (BEAT) gene. They supposed the expansion of the BEAT gene family might increase the content of benzyl acetate and therefore induces the special fragrance of P. mume.

The disease resistance related-genes may benefit the future breeding improvement. In this study, researchers found 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. It was reported that PR proteins could mediate plant defence against pathogenic constraints and the general adaptation to stressful environments. Most PR gene families in P. mume were expanded 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.

Wenbin Chen, Project Manager of BGI, said, "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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BGI Shenzhen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Qixiang Zhang, Wenbin Chen, Lidan Sun, Fangying Zhao, Bangqing Huang, Weiru Yang, Ye Tao, Jia Wang, Zhiqiong Yuan, Guangyi Fan, Zhen Xing, Changlei Han, Huitang Pan, Xiao Zhong, Wenfang Shi, Xinming Liang, Dongliang Du, Fengming Sun, Zongda Xu, Ruijie Hao, Tian Lv, Yingmin Lv, Zequn Zheng, Ming Sun, Le Luo, Ming Cai, Yike Gao, Junyi Wang, Ye Yin, Xun Xu, Tangren Cheng, Jun Wang. The genome of Prunus mume. Nature Communications, 2012; 3: 1318 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2290

Cite This Page:

BGI Shenzhen. "First genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121227142951.htm>.
BGI Shenzhen. (2012, December 27). First genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121227142951.htm
BGI Shenzhen. "First genome sequence of Chinese plum provides important resource for fruit improvement." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121227142951.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

Raw: Kangaroo Rescued from Swimming Pool

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A kangaroo was saved from drowning in a backyard suburban swimming pool in Australia's Victoria state on Thursday. Australian broadcaster Channel 7 showed footage of the kangaroo struggling to get out of the pool. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Could Marijuana Use Lead To Serious Heart Problems?

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) A new study says marijuana use could lead to serious heart-related complications. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins