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Chromosome-level genome assembly of a parent species of widely cultivated azaleas
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2020 (English)In: Nature Communications, E-ISSN 2041-1723, Vol. 11, no 1, article id 5269Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Azaleas (Ericaceae) comprise one of the most diverse ornamental plants, renowned for their cultural and economic importance. We present a chromosome-scale genome assembly for Rhododendron simsii, the primary ancestor of azalea cultivars. Genome analyses unveil the remnants of an ancient whole-genome duplication preceding the radiation of most Ericaceae, likely contributing to the genomic architecture of flowering time. Small-scale gene duplications contribute to the expansion of gene families involved in azalea pigment biosynthesis. We reconstruct entire metabolic pathways for anthocyanins and carotenoids and their potential regulatory networks by detailed analysis of time-ordered gene co-expression networks. MYB, bHLH, and WD40 transcription factors may collectively regulate anthocyanin accumulation in R. simsii, particularly at the initial stages of flower coloration, and with WRKY transcription factors controlling progressive flower coloring at later stages. This work provides a cornerstone for understanding the underlying genetics governing flower timing and coloration and could accelerate selective breeding in azalea. Azaleas are one of the most diverse ornamental plants and have cultural and economic importance. Here, the authors report a chromosome-scale genome assembly for the primary ancestor of the azalea cultivar Rhododendro simsi and identify transcription factors that may function in flower coloration at different stages.

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Nature Publishing Group, 2020. Vol. 11, no 1, article id 5269
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Genetics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-176910DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-18771-4ISI: 000585918500004PubMedID: 33077749Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85092780912OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-176910DiVA, id: diva2:1502576
Available from: 2020-11-20 Created: 2020-11-20 Last updated: 2023-03-28Bibliographically approved

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Zhao, WeiMannapperuma, ChanakaStreet, NathanielWang, Xiao-Ru

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Zhao, WeiMannapperuma, ChanakaStreet, NathanielWang, Xiao-Ru
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Department of Ecology and Environmental SciencesUmeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC)Department of Plant Physiology
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Nature Communications
Genetics

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