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The wild grape genome sequence provides insights into the transition from dioecy to hermaphroditism during grape domestication

By Hélène Badouin, Amandine Velt, François Gindraud, Timothée Flutre, Vincent Dumas, Sonia Vautrin, William Marande, Jonathan Corbi, Erika Sallet, Jérémy Ganofsky, Sylvain Santoni, Dominique Guyot, Eugenia Ricciardelli, Kristen Jepsen, Jos Kafer, Hélène Berges, Eric Duchêne, Franck Picard, Philippe Hugueney, Raquel Tavares, Roberto Bacilieri, Camille Rustenholz, Gabriel AB Marais

Posted 08 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.07.897082 (published DOI: 10.1186/s13059-020-02131-y)

Grapevine has a major economical and cultural importance since antiquity. A key step in domestication was the transition from separate sexes (dioecy) in wild Vitis vinifera ssp. sylvestris ( V. sylvestris ) to hermaphroditism in cultivated Vitis vinifera ssp. vinifera . While the grapevine sex locus is known to be small, its precise boundaries, gene content and the sex-determining genes are unknown. Here we obtained a high-quality de novo reference genome for V. sylvestris and whole-genome resequencing data of a cross. Studying SNP segregation patterns, gene content and expression in wild and cultivated accessions allowed us to build a model for sex determination in grapevine. In this model, up- and down-regulation of a cytokinin regulator is sufficient to cause female sterility and reversal to hermaphroditism, respectively. This study highlights the importance of neo-functionalization of Y alleles in sex determination and provides a resource for studying genetic diversity in V. sylvestris and the genomic processes of grapevine domestication.

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