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A chromosome scale assembly of the model desiccation tolerant grass Oropetium thomaeum

By Robert VanBuren, Ching Man Wai, Jens Keilwagen, Jeremy Pardo

Posted 31 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/378943 (published DOI: 10.1002/pld3.96)

Oropetium thomaeum is an emerging model for desiccation tolerance and genome size evolution in grasses. A high-quality draft genome of Oropetium was recently sequenced, but the lack of a chromosome scale assembly has hindered comparative analyses and downstream functional genomics. Here, we reassembled Oropetium, and anchored the genome into ten chromosomes using Hi-C based chromatin interactions. A combination of high-resolution RNAseq data and homology-based gene prediction identified thousands of new, conserved gene models that were absent from the V1 assembly. This includes thousands of new genes with high expression across a desiccation timecourse. The sorghum and Oropetium genomes have a surprising degree of chromosome-level collinearity, and several chromosome pairs have near perfect synteny. Other chromosomes are collinear in the gene rich chromosome arms but have experienced pericentric translocations. Together, these resources will be useful for the grass comparative genomic community and further establish Oropetium as a model resurrection plant.

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