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1.  Synteny conservation between the Prunus genome and both the present and ancestral Arabidopsis genomes 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:81.
Due to the lack of availability of large genomic sequences for peach or other Prunus species, the degree of synteny conservation between the Prunus species and Arabidopsis has not been systematically assessed. Using the recently available peach EST sequences that are anchored to Prunus genetic maps and to peach physical map, we analyzed the extent of conserved synteny between the Prunus and the Arabidopsis genomes. The reconstructed pseudo-ancestral Arabidopsis genome, existed prior to the proposed recent polyploidy event, was also utilized in our analysis to further elucidate the evolutionary relationship.
We analyzed the synteny conservation between the Prunus and the Arabidopsis genomes by comparing 475 peach ESTs that are anchored to Prunus genetic maps and their Arabidopsis homologs detected by sequence similarity. Microsyntenic regions were detected between all five Arabidopsis chromosomes and seven of the eight linkage groups of the Prunus reference map. An additional 1097 peach ESTs that are anchored to 431 BAC contigs of the peach physical map and their Arabidopsis homologs were also analyzed. Microsyntenic regions were detected in 77 BAC contigs. The syntenic regions from both data sets were short and contained only a couple of conserved gene pairs. The synteny between peach and Arabidopsis was fragmentary; all the Prunus linkage groups containing syntenic regions matched to more than two different Arabidopsis chromosomes, and most BAC contigs with multiple conserved syntenic regions corresponded to multiple Arabidopsis chromosomes. Using the same peach EST datasets and their Arabidopsis homologs, we also detected conserved syntenic regions in the pseudo-ancestral Arabidopsis genome. In many cases, the gene order and content of peach regions was more conserved in the ancestral genome than in the present Arabidopsis region. Statistical significance of each syntenic group was calculated using simulated Arabidopsis genome.
We report here the result of the first extensive analysis of the conserved microsynteny using DNA sequences across the Prunus genome and their Arabidopsis homologs. Our study also illustrates that both the ancestral and present Arabidopsis genomes can provide a useful resource for marker saturation and candidate gene search, as well as elucidating evolutionary relationships between species.
PMCID: PMC1479338  PMID: 16615871
2.  Comparative genomic sequence analysis of strawberry and other rosids reveals significant microsynteny 
BMC Research Notes  2010;3:168.
Fragaria belongs to the Rosaceae, an economically important family that includes a number of important fruit producing genera such as Malus and Prunus. Using genomic sequences from 50 Fragaria fosmids, we have examined the microsynteny between Fragaria and other plant models.
In more than half of the strawberry fosmids, we found syntenic regions that are conserved in Populus, Vitis, Medicago and/or Arabidopsis with Populus containing the greatest number of syntenic regions with Fragaria. The longest syntenic region was between LG VIII of the poplar genome and the strawberry fosmid 72E18, where seven out of twelve predicted genes were collinear. We also observed an unexpectedly high level of conserved synteny between Fragaria (rosid I) and Vitis (basal rosid). One of the strawberry fosmids, 34E24, contained a cluster of R gene analogs (RGAs) with NBS and LRR domains. We detected clusters of RGAs with high sequence similarity to those in 34E24 in all the genomes compared. In the phylogenetic tree we have generated, all the NBS-LRR genes grouped together with Arabidopsis CNL-A type NBS-LRR genes. The Fragaria RGA grouped together with those of Vitis and Populus in the phylogenetic tree.
Our analysis shows considerable microsynteny between Fragaria and other plant genomes such as Populus, Medicago, Vitis, and Arabidopsis to a lesser degree. We also detected a cluster of NBS-LRR type genes that are conserved in all the genomes compared.
PMCID: PMC2893199  PMID: 20565715
3.  Development and bin mapping of a Rosaceae Conserved Ortholog Set (COS) of markers 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:562.
Detailed comparative genome analyses within the economically important Rosaceae family have not been conducted. This is largely due to the lack of conserved gene-based molecular markers that are transferable among the important crop genera within the family [e.g. Malus (apple), Fragaria (strawberry), and Prunus (peach, cherry, apricot and almond)]. The lack of molecular markers and comparative whole genome sequence analysis for this family severely hampers crop improvement efforts as well as QTL confirmation and validation studies.
We identified a set of 3,818 rosaceaous unigenes comprised of two or more ESTs that correspond to single copy Arabidopsis genes. From this Rosaceae Conserved Orthologous Set (RosCOS), 1039 were selected from which 857 were used for the development of intron-flanking primers and allele amplification. This led to successful amplification and subsequent mapping of 613 RosCOS onto the Prunus TxE reference map resulting in a genome-wide coverage of 0.67 to 1.06 gene-based markers per cM per linkage group. Furthermore, the RosCOS primers showed amplification success rates from 23 to 100% across the family indicating that a substantial part of the RosCOS primers can be directly employed in other less studied rosaceaous crops. Comparisons of the genetic map positions of the RosCOS with the physical locations of the orthologs in the Populus trichocarpa genome identified regions of colinearity between the genomes of Prunus-Rosaceae and Populus-Salicaceae.
Conserved orthologous genes are extremely useful for the analysis of genome evolution among closely and distantly related species. The results presented in this study demonstrate the considerable potential of the mapped Prunus RosCOS for genome-wide marker employment and comparative whole genome studies within the Rosaceae family. Moreover, these markers will also function as useful anchor points for the genome sequencing efforts currently ongoing in this family as well as for comparative QTL analyses.
PMCID: PMC2789105  PMID: 19943965
4.  Construction of an almond linkage map in an Australian population Nonpareil × Lauranne 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:551.
Despite a high genetic similarity to peach, almonds (Prunus dulcis) have a fleshless fruit and edible kernel, produced as a crop for human consumption. While the release of peach genome v1.0 provides an excellent opportunity for almond genetic and genomic studies, well-assessed segregating populations and the respective saturated genetic linkage maps lay the foundation for such studies to be completed in almond.
Using an almond intraspecific cross between 'Nonpareil' and 'Lauranne' (N × L), we constructed a moderately saturated map with SSRs, SNPs, ISSRs and RAPDs. The N × L map covered 591.4 cM of the genome with 157 loci. The average marker distance of the map was 4.0 cM. The map displayed high synteny and colinearity with the Prunus T × E reference map in all eight linkage groups (G1-G8). The positions of 14 mapped gene-anchored SNPs corresponded approximately with the positions of homologous sequences in the peach genome v1.0. Analysis of Mendelian segregation ratios showed that 17.9% of markers had significantly skewed genotype ratios at the level of P < 0.05. Due to the large number of skewed markers in the linkage group 7, the potential existence of deleterious gene(s) was assessed in the group. Integrated maps produced by two different mapping methods using JoinMap® 3 were compared, and their high degree of similarity was evident despite the positional inconsistency of a few markers.
We presented a moderately saturated Australian almond map, which is highly syntenic and collinear with the Prunus reference map and peach genome V1.0. Therefore, the well-assessed almond population reported here can be used to investigate the traits of interest under Australian growing conditions, and provides more information on the almond genome for the international community.
PMCID: PMC3091700  PMID: 20932335
5.  Prunus transcription factors: breeding perspectives 
Many plant processes depend on differential gene expression, which is generally controlled by complex proteins called transcription factors (TFs). In peach, 1533 TFs have been identified, accounting for about 5.5% of the 27,852 protein-coding genes. These TFs are the reference for the rest of the Prunus species. TF studies in Prunus have been performed on the gene expression analysis of different agronomic traits, including control of the flowering process, fruit quality, and biotic and abiotic stress resistance. These studies, using quantitative RT-PCR, have mainly been performed in peach, and to a lesser extent in other species, including almond, apricot, black cherry, Fuji cherry, Japanese apricot, plum, and sour and sweet cherry. Other tools have also been used in TF studies, including cDNA-AFLP, LC-ESI-MS, RNA, and DNA blotting or mapping. More recently, new tools assayed include microarray and high-throughput DNA sequencing (DNA-Seq) and RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). New functional genomics opportunities include genome resequencing and the well-known synteny among Prunus genomes and transcriptomes. These new functional studies should be applied in breeding programs in the development of molecular markers. With the genome sequences available, some strategies that have been used in model systems (such as SNP genotyping assays and genotyping-by-sequencing) may be applicable in the functional analysis of Prunus TFs as well. In addition, the knowledge of the gene functions and position in the peach reference genome of the TFs represents an additional advantage. These facts could greatly facilitate the isolation of genes via QTL (quantitative trait loci) map-based cloning in the different Prunus species, following the association of these TFs with the identified QTLs using the peach reference genome.
PMCID: PMC4464204  PMID: 26124770
Prunus spp.; breeding; gene regulation; transcription factors; flowering time; fruit quality; abiotic stress; biotic stress
6.  TNL genes in peach: insights into the post-LRR domain 
BMC Genomics  2016;17:317.
Plants develop sustainable defence responses to pathogen attacks through resistance (R) genes contributing to effector-triggered immunity (ETI). TIR-NB-LRR genes (TNL genes) constitute a major family of ETI R genes in dicots. The putative functions or roles of the TIR, NB and LRR domains of the proteins they encode (TNLs) are well documented, but TNLs also have a poorly characterised C-terminal region, the function of which is unknown in most cases. We characterised this prevalent stress-response protein family in a perennial plant, using the genome of peach (Prunus persica), the model Prunus species. The first TNL gene from this genus to be cloned, the Ma gene, confers complete-spectrum resistance to root-knot nematodes (RKNs) and encodes a protein with a huge C-terminal region with five duplicated post-LRR (PL) domains. This gene was the cornerstone of this study.
We investigated the role of this C-terminal region, by first describing the frequency, distribution and structural characteristics of i) TNL genes and ii) their PL domains in the peach genome, using the v1.0 Sanger sequence together with the v2.0 sequence, which has better genome annotation due to the incorporation of transcriptomic data. We detected 195 predicted TNL genes from the eight peach chromosomes: 85 % of these genes mapped to chromosomes 1, 2, 7 and 8. We reconstructed the putative structure of the predicted exons of all the TNL genes identified, and it was possible to retrieve the PL domains among two thirds of the TNL genes. We used our predicted TNL gene sequences to develop an annotation file for use with the Gbrowse tool in the v2.0 genome. The use of these annotation data made it possible to detect transcribed PL sequences in two Prunus species. We then used consensus sequences defined on the basis of 124 PL domains to design specific motifs, and we found that the use of these motifs significantly increased the numbers of PL domains and correlative TNL genes detected in diverse dicot genomes. Based on PL signatures, we showed that TNL genes with multiple PL domains were rare in peach and the other plants screened. The five-PL domain pattern is probably unique to Ma and its orthologues within Prunus and closely related genera from the Rosaceae and was probably inherited from the common ancestor of these plants in the subfamily Spiraeoideae.
The first physical TNL gene map for Prunus species can be used for the further investigation of R genes in this genus. The PL signature motifs are a complementary tool for the detection of TNL R genes in dicots. The low degree of similarity between PL domains and the neighbouring LRR exons and the specificity of PL signature motifs suggest that PL and LRR domains have different origins, with PL domains being specific to TNL genes, and possibly essential to the functioning of these genes in some cases. Investigations of the role of the oversized Ma PL region, in ligand binding or intramolecular interactions for example, may help to enrich our understanding of NB-LRR-mediated plant immunity to RKNs.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-016-2635-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4851768  PMID: 27129402
TIR-NB-LRR; Peach; Genome; Prunus; Resistance; Post-LRR domain; NB-LRR superfamily
7.  Synteny analysis in Rosids with a walnut physical map reveals slow genome evolution in long-lived woody perennials 
BMC Genomics  2015;16(1):707.
Mutations often accompany DNA replication. Since there may be fewer cell cycles per year in the germlines of long-lived than short-lived angiosperms, the genomes of long-lived angiosperms may be diverging more slowly than those of short-lived angiosperms. Here we test this hypothesis.
We first constructed a genetic map for walnut, a woody perennial. All linkage groups were short, and recombination rates were greatly reduced in the centromeric regions. We then used the genetic map to construct a walnut bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone-based physical map, which contained 15,203 exonic BAC-end sequences, and quantified with it synteny between the walnut genome and genomes of three long-lived woody perennials, Vitis vinifera, Populus trichocarpa, and Malus domestica, and three short-lived herbs, Cucumis sativus, Medicago truncatula, and Fragaria vesca. Each measure of synteny we used showed that the genomes of woody perennials were less diverged from the walnut genome than those of herbs. We also estimated the nucleotide substitution rate at silent codon positions in the walnut lineage. It was one-fifth and one-sixth of published nucleotide substitution rates in the Medicago and Arabidopsis lineages, respectively. We uncovered a whole-genome duplication in the walnut lineage, dated it to the neighborhood of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, and allocated the 16 walnut chromosomes into eight homoeologous pairs. We pointed out that during polyploidy-dysploidy cycles, the dominant tendency is to reduce the chromosome number.
Slow rates of nucleotide substitution are accompanied by slow rates of synteny erosion during genome divergence in woody perennials.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1906-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4574618  PMID: 26383694
Fagales; Angiosperm; Dysploidy; Polyploidy; Juglandaceae; Recombination rate; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Molecular clock
8.  Construction of a comparative genetic map in faba bean (Vicia faba L.); conservation of genome structure with Lens culinaris 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:380.
The development of genetic markers is complex and costly in species with little pre-existing genomic information. Faba bean possesses one of the largest and least studied genomes among cultivated crop plants and no gene-based genetic maps exist. Gene-based orthologous markers allow chromosomal regions and levels of synteny to be characterised between species, reveal phylogenetic relationships and chromosomal evolution, and enable targeted identification of markers for crop breeding. In this study orthologous codominant cross-species markers have been deployed to produce the first exclusively gene-based genetic linkage map of faba bean (Vicia faba), using an F6 population developed from a cross between the lines Vf6 (equina type) and Vf27 (paucijuga type).
Of 796 intron-targeted amplified polymorphic (ITAP) markers screened, 151 markers could be used to construct a comparative genetic map. Linkage analysis revealed seven major and five small linkage groups (LGs), one pair and 12 unlinked markers. Each LG was comprised of three to 30 markers and varied in length from 23.6 cM to 324.8 cM. The map spanned a total length of 1685.8 cM. A simple and direct macrosyntenic relationship between faba bean and Medicago truncatula was evident, while faba bean and lentil shared a common rearrangement relative to M. truncatula. One hundred and four of the 127 mapped markers in the 12 LGs, which were previously assigned to M. truncatula genetic and physical maps, were found in regions syntenic between the faba bean and M. truncatula genomes. However chromosomal rearrangements were observed that could explain the difference in chromosome numbers between these three legume species. These rearrangements suggested high conservation of M. truncatula chromosomes 1, 5 and 8; moderate conservation of chromosomes 2, 3, 4 and 7 and no conservation with M. truncatula chromosome 6. Multiple PCR amplicons and comparative mapping were suggestive of small-scale duplication events in faba bean. This study also provides a preliminary indication for finer scale macrosynteny between M. truncatula, lentil and faba bean. Markers originally designed from genes on the same M. truncatula BACs were found to be grouped together in corresponding syntenic areas in lentil and faba bean.
Despite the large size of the faba bean genome, comparative mapping did not reveal evidence for polyploidisation, segmental duplication, or significant rearrangements compared to M. truncatula, although a bias in the use of single locus markers may have limited the detection of duplications. Non-coding repetitive DNA or transposable element content provides a possible explanation for the difference in genome sizes. Similar patterns of rearrangements in faba bean and lentil compared to M. truncatula support phylogenetic studies dividing these species into the tribes Viceae and Trifoliae. However, substantial macrosynteny was apparent between faba bean and M. truncatula, with the exception of chromosome 6 where no orthologous markers were found, confirming previous investigations suggesting chromosome 6 is atypical. The composite map, anchored with orthologous markers mapped in M. truncatula, provides a central reference map for future use of genomic and genetic information in faba bean genetic analysis and breeding.
PMCID: PMC2533332  PMID: 18691425
9.  Association between Chloroplast and Mitochondrial DNA sequences in Chinese Prunus genotypes (Prunus persica, Prunus domestica, and Prunus avium) 
BMC Plant Biology  2015;15:4.
The nuclear DNA is conventionally used to assess the diversity and relatedness among different species, but variations at the DNA genome level has also been used to study the relationship among different organisms. In most species, mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes are inherited maternally; therefore it is anticipated that organelle DNA remains completely associated. Many research studies were conducted simultaneously on organelle genome. The objectives of this study was to analyze the genetic relationship between chloroplast and mitochondrial DNA in three Chinese Prunus genotypes viz., Prunus persica, Prunus domestica, and Prunus avium.
We investigated the genetic diversity of Prunus genotypes using simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers relevant to the chloroplast and mitochondria. Most of the genotypes were genetically similar as revealed by phylogenetic analysis. The Y2 Wu Xing (Cherry) and L2 Hong Xin Li (Plum) genotypes have a high similarity index (0.89), followed by Zi Ye Li (0.85), whereas; L1 Tai Yang Li (plum) has the lowest genetic similarity (0.35). In case of cpSSR, Hong Tao (Peach) and L1 Tai Yang Li (Plum) genotypes demonstrated similarity index of 0.85 and Huang Tao has the lowest similarity index of 0.50. The mtSSR nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that each genotype has similar amplicon length (509 bp) except M5Y1 i.e., 505 bp with CCB256 primer; while in case of NAD6 primer, all genotypes showed different sizes. The MEHO (Peach), MEY1 (Cherry), MEL2 (Plum) and MEL1 (Plum) have 586 bps; while MEY2 (Cherry), MEZI (Plum) and MEHU (Peach) have 585, 584 and 566 bp, respectively. The CCB256 primer showed highly conserved sequences and minute single polymorphic nucleotides with no deletion or mutation. The cpSSR (ARCP511) microsatellites showed the harmonious amplicon length. The CZI (Plum), CHO (Peach) and CL1 (Plum) showed 182 bp; whileCHU (Peach), CY2 (Cherry), CL2 (Plum) and CY1 (Cherry) showed 181 bp amplicon lengths.
These results demonstrated high conservation in chloroplast and mitochondrial genome among Prunus species during the evolutionary process. These findings are valuable to study the organelle DNA diversity in different species and genotypes of Prunus to provide in depth insight in to the mitochondrial and chloroplast genomes.
PMCID: PMC4310034  PMID: 25592231
Organelle DNA sequences; Prunus; SSR markers; Genetic diversity; Prunus persica; Prunus domestica; Prunus avium
10.  Substantial genome synteny preservation among woody angiosperm species: comparative genomics of Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) and plant reference genomes 
BMC Genomics  2015;16:744.
Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) has emerged as a model species for the Fagaceae family with extensive genomic resources including a physical map, a dense genetic map and quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for chestnut blight resistance. These resources enable comparative genomics analyses relative to model plants. We assessed the degree of conservation between the chestnut genome and other well annotated and assembled plant genomic sequences, focusing on the QTL regions of most interest to the chestnut breeding community.
The integrated physical and genetic map of Chinese chestnut has been improved to now include 858 shared sequence-based markers. The utility of the integrated map has also been improved through the addition of 42,970 BAC (bacterial artificial chromosome) end sequences spanning over 26 million bases of the estimated 800 Mb chestnut genome. Synteny between chestnut and ten model plant species was conducted on a macro-syntenic scale using sequences from both individual probes and BAC end sequences across the chestnut physical map. Blocks of synteny with chestnut were found in all ten reference species, with the percent of the chestnut physical map that could be aligned ranging from 10 to 39 %.
The integrated genetic and physical map was utilized to identify BACs that spanned the three previously identified QTL regions conferring blight resistance. The clones were pooled and sequenced, yielding 396 sequence scaffolds covering 13.9 Mbp. Comparative genomic analysis on a microsytenic scale, using the QTL-associated genomic sequence, identified synteny from chestnut to other plant genomes ranging from 5.4 to 12.9 % of the genome sequences aligning.
On both the macro- and micro-synteny levels, the peach, grape and poplar genomes were found to be the most structurally conserved with chestnut. Interestingly, these results did not strictly follow the expectation that decreased phylogenetic distance would correspond to increased levels of genome preservation, but rather suggest the additional influence of life-history traits on preservation of synteny. The regions of synteny that were detected provide an important tool for defining and cataloging genes in the QTL regions for advancing chestnut blight resistance research.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1942-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4595192  PMID: 26438416
Chestnut; Comparative genomics; Blight resistance; Synteny; Plant genomics; Physical map; Genetic map
11.  Synteny conservation between two distantly-related Rosaceae genomes: Prunus (the stone fruits) and Fragaria (the strawberry) 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:67.
The Rosaceae encompass a large number of economically-important diploid and polyploid fruit and ornamental species in many different genera. The basic chromosome numbers of these genera are x = 7, 8 and 9 and all have compact and relatively similar genome sizes. Comparative mapping between distantly-related genera has been performed to a limited extent in the Rosaceae including a comparison between Malus (subfamily Maloideae) and Prunus (subfamily Prunoideae); however no data has been published to date comparing Malus or Prunus to a member of the subfamily Rosoideae. In this paper we compare the genome of Fragaria, a member of the Rosoideae, to Prunus, a member of the Prunoideae.
The diploid genomes of Prunus (2n = 2x = 16) and Fragaria (2n = 2x = 14) were compared through the mapping of 71 anchor markers – 40 restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs), 29 indels or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) derived from expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and two simple-sequence repeats (SSRs) – on the reference maps of both genera. These markers provided good coverage of the Prunus (78%) and Fragaria (78%) genomes, with maximum gaps and average densities of 22 cM and 7.3 cM/marker in Prunus and 32 cM and 8.0 cM/marker in Fragaria.
Our results indicate a clear pattern of synteny, with most markers of each chromosome of one of these species mapping to one or two chromosomes of the other. A large number of rearrangements (36), most of which produced by inversions (27) and the rest (9) by translocations or fission/fusion events could also be inferred. We have provided the first framework for the comparison of the position of genes or DNA sequences of these two economically valuable and yet distantly-related genera of the Rosaceae.
PMCID: PMC2442709  PMID: 18564412
12.  Begin at the beginning: A BAC-end view of the passion fruit (Passiflora) genome 
BMC Genomics  2014;15(1):816.
The passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) is a tropical crop of economic importance both for juice production and consumption as fresh fruit. The juice is also used in concentrate blends that are consumed worldwide. However, very little is known about the genome of the species. Therefore, improving our understanding of passion fruit genomics is essential and to some degree a pre-requisite if its genetic resources are to be used more efficiently. In this study, we have constructed a large-insert BAC library and provided the first view on the structure and content of the passion fruit genome, using BAC-end sequence (BES) data as a major resource.
The library consisted of 82,944 clones and its levels of organellar DNA were very low. The library represents six haploid genome equivalents, and the average insert size was 108 kb. To check its utility for gene isolation, successful macroarray screening experiments were carried out with probes complementary to eight Passiflora gene sequences available in public databases. BACs harbouring those genes were used in fluorescent in situ hybridizations and unique signals were detected for four BACs in three chromosomes (n = 9). Then, we explored 10,000 BES and we identified reads likely to contain repetitive mobile elements (19.6% of all BES), simple sequence repeats and putative proteins, and to estimate the GC content (~42%) of the reads. Around 9.6% of all BES were found to have high levels of similarity to plant genes and ontological terms were assigned to more than half of the sequences analysed (940). The vast majority of the top-hits made by our sequences were to Populus trichocarpa (24.8% of the total occurrences), Theobroma cacao (21.6%), Ricinus communis (14.3%), Vitis vinifera (6.5%) and Prunus persica (3.8%).
We generated the first large-insert library for a member of Passifloraceae. This BAC library provides a new resource for genetic and genomic studies, as well as it represents a valuable tool for future whole genome study. Remarkably, a number of BAC-end pair sequences could be mapped to intervals of the sequenced Arabidopsis thaliana, V. vinifera and P. trichocarpa chromosomes, and putative collinear microsyntenic regions were identified.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2164-15-816) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4189760  PMID: 25260959
Passiflora; Passion fruit; Genomics; BAC-end sequencing; Repetitive elements; Gene content; Microsynteny; Fluorescent in situ hybridization
13.  Comparative analysis of rosaceous genomes and the reconstruction of a putative ancestral genome for the family 
Comparative genome mapping studies in Rosaceae have been conducted until now by aligning genetic maps within the same genus, or closely related genera and using a limited number of common markers. The growing body of genomics resources and sequence data for both Prunus and Fragaria permits detailed comparisons between these genera and the recently released Malus × domestica genome sequence.
We generated a comparative analysis using 806 molecular markers that are anchored genetically to the Prunus and/or Fragaria reference maps, and physically to the Malus genome sequence. Markers in common for Malus and Prunus, and Malus and Fragaria, respectively were 784 and 148. The correspondence between marker positions was high and conserved syntenic blocks were identified among the three genera in the Rosaceae. We reconstructed a proposed ancestral genome for the Rosaceae.
A genome containing nine chromosomes is the most likely candidate for the ancestral Rosaceae progenitor. The number of chromosomal translocations observed between the three genera investigated was low. However, the number of inversions identified among Malus and Prunus was much higher than any reported genome comparisons in plants, suggesting that small inversions have played an important role in the evolution of these two genera or of the Rosaceae.
PMCID: PMC3033827  PMID: 21226921
14.  Ancestral synteny shared between distantly-related plant species from the asterid (Coffea canephora and Solanum Sp.) and rosid (Vitis vinifera) clades 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:103.
Coffee trees (Rubiaceae) and tomato (Solanaceae) belong to the Asterid clade, while grapevine (Vitaceae) belongs to the Rosid clade. Coffee and tomato separated from grapevine 125 million years ago, while coffee and tomato diverged 83-89 million years ago. These long periods of divergent evolution should have permitted the genomes to reorganize significantly. So far, very few comparative mappings have been performed between very distantly related species belonging to different clades. We report the first multiple comparison between species from Asterid and Rosid clades, to examine both macro-and microsynteny relationships.
Thanks to a set of 867 COSII markers, macrosynteny was detected between coffee, tomato and grapevine. While coffee and tomato genomes share 318 orthologous markers and 27 conserved syntenic segments (CSSs), coffee and grapevine also share a similar number of syntenic markers and CSSs: 299 and 29 respectively. Despite large genome macrostructure reorganization, several large chromosome segments showed outstanding macrosynteny shedding new insights into chromosome evolution between Asterids and Rosids. We also analyzed a sequence of 174 kb containing the ovate gene, conserved in a syntenic block between coffee, tomato and grapevine that showed a high-level of microstructure conservation. A higher level of conservation was observed between coffee and grapevine, both woody and long life-cycle plants, than between coffee and tomato. Out of 16 coffee genes of this syntenic segment, 7 and 14 showed complete synteny between coffee and tomato or grapevine, respectively.
These results show that significant conservation is found between distantly related species from the Asterid (Coffea canephora and Solanum sp.) and Rosid (Vitis vinifera) clades, at the genome macrostructure and microstructure levels. At the ovate locus, conservation did not decline in relation to increasing phylogenetic distance, suggesting that the time factor alone does not explain divergences. Our results are considerably useful for syntenic studies between supposedly remote species for the isolation of important genes for agronomy.
PMCID: PMC3372433  PMID: 22433423
Comparative genomics; Synteny; Genome evolution; Coffea; Vitis; Solanum
15.  Construction and Comparative Analyses of Highly Dense Linkage Maps of Two Sweet Cherry Intra-Specific Progenies of Commercial Cultivars 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54743.
Despite the agronomical importance and high synteny with other Prunus species, breeding improvements for cherry have been slow compared to other temperate fruits, such as apple or peach. However, the recent release of the peach genome v1.0 by the International Peach Genome Initiative and the sequencing of cherry accessions to identify Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) provide an excellent basis for the advancement of cherry genetic and genomic studies. The availability of dense genetic linkage maps in phenotyped segregating progenies would be a valuable tool for breeders and geneticists. Using two sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.) intra-specific progenies derived from crosses between ‘Black Tartarian’ × ‘Kordia’ (BT×K) and ‘Regina’ × ‘Lapins’(R×L), high-density genetic maps of the four parental lines and the two segregating populations were constructed. For BT×K and R×L, 89 and 121 F1 plants were used for linkage mapping, respectively. A total of 5,696 SNP markers were tested in each progeny. As a result of these analyses, 723 and 687 markers were mapped into eight linkage groups (LGs) in BT×K and R×L, respectively. The resulting maps spanned 752.9 and 639.9 cM with an average distance of 1.1 and 0.9 cM between adjacent markers in BT×K and R×L, respectively. The maps displayed high synteny and co-linearity between each other, with the Prunus bin map, and with the peach genome v1.0 for all eight LGs (LG1–LG8). These maps provide a useful tool for investigating traits of interest in sweet cherry and represent a qualitative advance in the understanding of the cherry genome and its synteny with other members of the Rosaceae family.
PMCID: PMC3561380  PMID: 23382953
16.  A physical map for the Amborella trichopoda genome sheds light on the evolution of angiosperm genome structure 
Genome Biology  2011;12(5):R48.
Recent phylogenetic analyses have identified Amborella trichopoda, an understory tree species endemic to the forests of New Caledonia, as sister to a clade including all other known flowering plant species. The Amborella genome is a unique reference for understanding the evolution of angiosperm genomes because it can serve as an outgroup to root comparative analyses. A physical map, BAC end sequences and sample shotgun sequences provide a first view of the 870 Mbp Amborella genome.
Analysis of Amborella BAC ends sequenced from each contig suggests that the density of long terminal repeat retrotransposons is negatively correlated with that of protein coding genes. Syntenic, presumably ancestral, gene blocks were identified in comparisons of the Amborella BAC contigs and the sequenced Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa, Vitis vinifera and Oryza sativa genomes. Parsimony mapping of the loss of synteny corroborates previous analyses suggesting that the rate of structural change has been more rapid on lineages leading to Arabidopsis and Oryza compared with lineages leading to Populus and Vitis. The gamma paleohexiploidy event identified in the Arabidopsis, Populus and Vitis genomes is shown to have occurred after the divergence of all other known angiosperms from the lineage leading to Amborella.
When placed in the context of a physical map, BAC end sequences representing just 5.4% of the Amborella genome have facilitated reconstruction of gene blocks that existed in the last common ancestor of all flowering plants. The Amborella genome is an invaluable reference for inferences concerning the ancestral angiosperm and subsequent genome evolution.
PMCID: PMC3219971  PMID: 21619600
17.  Characterization of cytokinin signaling and homeostasis gene families in two hardwood tree species: Populus trichocarpa and Prunus persica 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:885.
Through the diversity of cytokinin regulated processes, this phytohormone has a profound impact on plant growth and development. Cytokinin signaling is involved in the control of apical and lateral meristem activity, branching pattern of the shoot, and leaf senescence. These processes influence several traits, including the stem diameter, shoot architecture, and perennial life cycle, which define the development of woody plants. To facilitate research about the role of cytokinin in regulation of woody plant development, we have identified genes associated with cytokinin signaling and homeostasis pathways from two hardwood tree species.
Taking advantage of the sequenced black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) and peach (Prunus persica) genomes, we have compiled a comprehensive list of genes involved in these pathways. We identified genes belonging to the six families of cytokinin oxidases (CKXs), isopentenyl transferases (IPTs), LONELY GUY genes (LOGs), two-component receptors, histidine containing phosphotransmitters (HPts), and response regulators (RRs). All together 85 Populus and 45 Prunus genes were identified, and compared to their Arabidopsis orthologs through phylogenetic analyses.
In general, when compared to Arabidopsis, differences in gene family structure were often seen in only one of the two tree species. However, one class of genes associated with cytokinin signal transduction, the CKI1-like family of two-component histidine kinases, was larger in both Populus and Prunus than in Arabidopsis.
PMCID: PMC3866579  PMID: 24341635
Cytokinin signaling; Cytokinin homeostasis; Populus trichocarpa; Black cottonwood; Prunus persica; Peach
18.  Genomic characterization of putative allergen genes in peach/almond and their synteny with apple 
BMC Genomics  2008;9:543.
Fruits from several species of the Rosaceae family are reported to cause allergic reactions in certain populations. The allergens identified belong to mainly four protein families: pathogenesis related 10 proteins, thaumatin-like proteins, lipid transfer proteins and profilins. These families of putative allergen genes in apple (Mal d 1 to 4) have been mapped on linkage maps and subsequent genetic study on allelic diversity and hypoallergenic traits has been carried out recently. In peach (Prunus persica), these allergen gene families are denoted as Pru p 1 to 4 and for almond (Prunus dulcis)Pru du 1 to 4. Genetic analysis using current molecular tools may be helpful to establish the cause of allergenicity differences observed among different peach cultivars. This study was to characterize putative peach allergen genes for their genomic sequences and linkage map positions, and to compare them with previously characterized homologous genes in apple (Malus domestica).
Eight Pru p/du 1 genes were identified, four of which were new. All the Pru p/du 1 genes were mapped in a single bin on the top of linkage group 1 (G1). Five Pru p/du 2 genes were mapped on four different linkage groups, two very similar Pru p/du 2.01 genes (A and B) were on G3, Pru p/du 2.02 on G7,Pru p/du 2.03 on G8 and Pru p/du 2.04 on G1. There were differences in the intron and exon structure in these Pru p/du 2 genes and in their amino acid composition. Three Pru p/du 3 genes (3.01–3.03) containing an intron and a mini exon of 10 nt were mapped in a cluster on G6. Two Pru p/du 4 genes (Pru p/du 4.01 and 4.02) were located on G1 and G7, respectively. The Pru p/du 1 cluster on G1 aligned to the Mal d 1 clusters on LG16; Pru p/du 2.01A and B on G3 to Mal d 2.01A and B on LG9; the Pru p/du 3 cluster on G6 to Mal d 3.01 on LG12; Pru p/du 4.01 on G1 to Mal d 4.03 on LG2; and Pru p/du 4.02 on G7 to Mal d 4.02 on LG2.
A total of 18 putative peach/almond allergen genes have been mapped on five linkage groups. Their positions confirm the high macro-synteny between peach/almond and apple. The insight gained will help to identify key genes causing differences in allergenicity among different cultivars of peach and other Prunus species.
PMCID: PMC2621206  PMID: 19014629
19.  Single strand conformation polymorphism based SNP and Indel markers for genetic mapping and synteny analysis of common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) 
BMC Genomics  2009;10:629.
Expressed sequence tags (ESTs) are an important source of gene-based markers such as those based on insertion-deletions (Indels) or single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Several gel based methods have been reported for the detection of sequence variants, however they have not been widely exploited in common bean, an important legume crop of the developing world. The objectives of this project were to develop and map EST based markers using analysis of single strand conformation polymorphisms (SSCPs), to create a transcript map for common bean and to compare synteny of the common bean map with sequenced chromosomes of other legumes.
A set of 418 EST based amplicons were evaluated for parental polymorphisms using the SSCP technique and 26% of these presented a clear conformational or size polymorphism between Andean and Mesoamerican genotypes. The amplicon based markers were then used for genetic mapping with segregation analysis performed in the DOR364 × G19833 recombinant inbred line (RIL) population. A total of 118 new marker loci were placed into an integrated molecular map for common bean consisting of 288 markers. Of these, 218 were used for synteny analysis and 186 presented homology with segments of the soybean genome with an e-value lower than 7 × 10-12. The synteny analysis with soybean showed a mosaic pattern of syntenic blocks with most segments of any one common bean linkage group associated with two soybean chromosomes. The analysis with Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus presented fewer syntenic regions consistent with the more distant phylogenetic relationship between the galegoid and phaseoloid legumes.
The SSCP technique is a useful and inexpensive alternative to other SNP or Indel detection techniques for saturating the common bean genetic map with functional markers that may be useful in marker assisted selection. In addition, the genetic markers based on ESTs allowed the construction of a transcript map and given their high conservation between species allowed synteny comparisons to be made to sequenced genomes. This synteny analysis may support positional cloning of target genes in common bean through the use of genomic information from these other legumes.
PMCID: PMC2806352  PMID: 20030833
20.  Mining microsatellites in the peach genome: development of new long-core SSR markers for genetic analyses in five Prunus species 
SpringerPlus  2015;4:337.
A wide inventory of molecular markers is nowadays available for individual fingerprinting. Microsatellites, or simple sequence repeats (SSRs), play a relevant role due to their relatively ease of use, their abundance in the plant genomes, and their co-dominant nature, together with the availability of primer sequences in many important agricultural crops. Microsatellites with long-core motifs are more easily scored and were adopted long ago in human genetics but they were developed only in few crops, and Prunus species are not among them. In the present work the peach whole-genome sequence was used to select 216 SSRs containing long-core motifs with tri-, tetra- and penta-nucleotide repeats. Microsatellite primer pairs were designed and tested for polymorphism in the five diploid Prunus species of economic relevance (almond, apricot, Japanese plum, peach and sweet cherry). A set of 26 microsatellite markers covering all the eight chromosomes, was also selected and used in the molecular characterization, population genetics and structure analyses of a representative sample of the five diploid Prunus species, assessing their transportability and effectiveness. The combined probability of identity between two random individuals for the whole set of 26 SSRs was quite low, ranging from 2.30 × 10−7 in peach to 9.48 × 10−10 in almond, confirming the usefulness of the proposed set for fingerprinting analyses in Prunus species.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1098-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4497997  PMID: 26185739
P. armeniaca; P avium; P. persica; P. salicina; P. dulcis; Fingerprinting
21.  An S-Locus Independent Pollen Factor Confers Self-Compatibility in ‘Katy’ Apricot 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53947.
Loss of pollen-S function in Prunus self-compatible cultivars has been mostly associated with deletions or insertions in the S-haplotype-specific F-box (SFB) genes. However, self-compatible pollen-part mutants defective for non-S-locus factors have also been found, for instance, in the apricot (Prunus armeniaca) cv. ‘Canino’. In the present study, we report the genetic and molecular analysis of another self-compatible apricot cv. termed ‘Katy’. S-genotype of ‘Katy’ was determined as S1S2 and S-RNase PCR-typing of selfing and outcrossing populations from ‘Katy’ showed that pollen gametes bearing either the S1- or the S2-haplotype were able to overcome self-incompatibility (SI) barriers. Sequence analyses showed no SNP or indel affecting the SFB1 and SFB2 alleles from ‘Katy’ and, moreover, no evidence of pollen-S duplication was found. As a whole, the obtained results are compatible with the hypothesis that the loss-of-function of a S-locus unlinked factor gametophytically expressed in pollen (M’-locus) leads to SI breakdown in ‘Katy’. A mapping strategy based on segregation distortion loci mapped the M’-locus within an interval of 9.4 cM at the distal end of chr.3 corresponding to ∼1.29 Mb in the peach (Prunus persica) genome. Interestingly, pollen-part mutations (PPMs) causing self-compatibility (SC) in the apricot cvs. ‘Canino’ and ‘Katy’ are located within an overlapping region of ∼273 Kb in chr.3. No evidence is yet available to discern if they affect the same gene or not, but molecular markers seem to indicate that both cultivars are genetically unrelated suggesting that every PPM may have arisen independently. Further research will be necessary to reveal the precise nature of ‘Katy’ PPM, but fine-mapping already enables SC marker-assisted selection and paves the way for future positional cloning of the underlying gene.
PMCID: PMC3544744  PMID: 23342044
22.  In silico search, characterization and validation of new EST-SSR markers in the genus Prunus 
BMC Research Notes  2016;9:336.
Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) are defined as sequence repeat units between 1 and 6 bp that occur in both coding and non-coding regions abundant in eukaryotic genomes, which may affect the expression of genes. In this study, expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of eight Prunus species were analyzed for in silico mining of EST-SSRs, protein annotation, and open reading frames (ORFs), and the identification of codon repetitions.
A total of 316 SSRs were identified using MISA software. Dinucleotide SSR motifs (26.31 %) were found to be the most abundant type of repeats, followed by tri- (14.58 %), tetra- (0.53 %), and penta- (0.27 %) nucleotide motifs. An attempt was made to design primer pairs for 316 identified SSRs but these were successful for only 175 SSR sequences. The positions of SSRs with respect to ORFs were detected, and annotation of sequences containing SSRs was performed to assign function to each sequence. SSRs were also characterized (in terms of position in the reference genome and associated gene) using the two available Prunus reference genomes (mei and peach). Finally, 38 SSR markers were validated across peach, almond, plum, and apricot genotypes. This validation showed a higher transferability level of EST-SSR developed in P. mume (mei) in comparison with the rest of species analyzed.
Findings will aid analysis of functionally important molecular markers and facilitate the analysis of genetic diversity.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13104-016-2143-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4937603  PMID: 27389023
EST-SSR; SSR mining; Functional domain marker; Prunus; In silico analysis; Breeding
23.  Whole genome comparisons of Fragaria, Prunus and Malus reveal different modes of evolution between Rosaceous subfamilies 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:129.
Rosaceae include numerous economically important and morphologically diverse species. Comparative mapping between the member species in Rosaceae have indicated some level of synteny. Recently the whole genome of three crop species, peach, apple and strawberry, which belong to different genera of the Rosaceae family, have been sequenced, allowing in-depth comparison of these genomes.
Our analysis using the whole genome sequences of peach, apple and strawberry identified 1399 orthologous regions between the three genomes, with a mean length of around 100 kb. Each peach chromosome showed major orthology mostly to one strawberry chromosome, but to more than two apple chromosomes, suggesting that the apple genome went through more chromosomal fissions in addition to the whole genome duplication after the divergence of the three genera. However, the distribution of contiguous ancestral regions, identified using the multiple genome rearrangements and ancestors (MGRA) algorithm, suggested that the Fragaria genome went through a greater number of small scale rearrangements compared to the other genomes since they diverged from a common ancestor. Using the contiguous ancestral regions, we reconstructed a hypothetical ancestral genome for the Rosaceae 7 composed of nine chromosomes and propose the evolutionary steps from the ancestral genome to the extant Fragaria, Prunus and Malus genomes.
Our analysis shows that different modes of evolution may have played major roles in different subfamilies of Rosaceae. The hypothetical ancestral genome of Rosaceae and the evolutionary steps that lead to three different lineages of Rosaceae will facilitate our understanding of plant genome evolution as well as have a practical impact on knowledge transfer among member species of Rosaceae.
PMCID: PMC3368713  PMID: 22475018
Rosaceae; Comparative genomics; Evolution
24.  Comparative genomics of Lupinus angustifolius gene-rich regions: BAC library exploration, genetic mapping and cytogenetics 
BMC Genomics  2013;14:79.
The narrow-leafed lupin, Lupinus angustifolius L., is a grain legume species with a relatively compact genome. The species has 2n = 40 chromosomes and its genome size is 960 Mbp/1C. During the last decade, L. angustifolius genomic studies have achieved several milestones, such as molecular-marker development, linkage maps, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries. Here, these resources were integratively used to identify and sequence two gene-rich regions (GRRs) of the genome.
The genome was screened with a probe representing the sequence of a microsatellite fragment length polymorphism (MFLP) marker linked to Phomopsis stem blight resistance. BAC clones selected by hybridization were subjected to restriction fingerprinting and contig assembly, and 232 BAC-ends were sequenced and annotated. BAC fluorescence in situ hybridization (BAC-FISH) identified eight single-locus clones. Based on physical mapping, cytogenetic localization, and BAC-end annotation, five clones were chosen for sequencing. Within the sequences of clones that hybridized in FISH to a single-locus, two large GRRs were identified. The GRRs showed strong and conserved synteny to Glycine max duplicated genome regions, illustrated by both identical gene order and parallel orientation. In contrast, in the clones with dispersed FISH signals, more than one-third of sequences were transposable elements. Sequenced, single-locus clones were used to develop 12 genetic markers, increasing the number of L. angustifolius chromosomes linked to appropriate linkage groups by five pairs.
In general, probes originating from MFLP sequences can assist genome screening and gene discovery. However, such probes are not useful for positional cloning, because they tend to hybridize to numerous loci. GRRs identified in L. angustifolius contained a low number of interspersed repeats and had a high level of synteny to the genome of the model legume G. max. Our results showed that not only was the gene nucleotide sequence conserved between soybean and lupin GRRs, but the order and orientation of particular genes in syntenic blocks was homologous, as well. These findings will be valuable to the forthcoming sequencing of the lupin genome.
PMCID: PMC3618312  PMID: 23379841
Narrow-leafed lupin; Glycine max; MFLP; Genome mapping; contigs; DNA sequencing; Synteny; BAC-FISH
25.  The genome of woodland strawberry (Fragaria vesca) 
Nature Genetics  2010;43(2):109-116.
The woodland strawberry, Fragaria vesca (2n = 2x = 14), is a versatile experimental plant system. This diminutive herbaceous perennial has a small genome (240 Mb), is amenable to genetic transformation and shares substantial sequence identity with the cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) and other economically important rosaceous plants. Here we report the draft F. vesca genome, which was sequenced to ×39 coverage using second-generation technology, assembled de novo and then anchored to the genetic linkage map into seven pseudochromosomes. This diploid strawberry sequence lacks the large genome duplications seen in other rosids. Gene prediction modeling identified 34,809 genes, with most being supported by transcriptome mapping. Genes critical to valuable horticultural traits including flavor, nutritional value and flowering time were identified. Macrosyntenic relationships between Fragaria and Prunus predict a hypothetical ancestral Rosaceae genome that had nine chromosomes. New phylogenetic analysis of 154 protein-coding genes suggests that assignment of Populus to Malvidae, rather than Fabidae, is warranted.
PMCID: PMC3326587  PMID: 21186353

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