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SMRT sequencing of the Oryza rufipogon genome reveals the genomic basis of rice adaptation

By Wei Li, Kui Li, Ying Huang, Cong Shi, Wu-Shu Hu, Yun Zhang, Qun-Jie Zhang, En-Hua Xia, Ge-Ran Hutang, Xun-Ge Zhu, Yun-Long Liu, Yuan Liu, Yan Tong, Ting Zhu, Hui Huang, Dan Zhang, Yuan Zhao, Wen-Kai Jiang, Jie Yuan, Yong-Chao Niu, Cheng-Wen Gao, Li-Zhi Gao

Posted 15 Jan 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.14.905281 (published DOI: 10.1038/s42003-020-0890-8)

Asian cultivated rice is believed to have been domesticated from an immediate ancestral progenitor, Oryza rufipogon, which provides promising sources of novel alleles for world rice improvement. Here we first present a high-quality de novo assembly of the typical O. rufipogon genome through the integration of single-molecule sequencing (SMRT), 10x and Hi-C technologies. This chromosome-based reference genome allows a multi-species comparative analysis of the annual selfing O. sativa and its two wild progenitors, the annual selfing O. nivara and perennial outcrossing O. rufipogon, identifying massive numbers of dispensable genes that are functionally enriched in reproductive process. Comparative genomic analyses identified millions of genomic variants, of which large-effect mutations (e.g., SVs, CNV and PAVs) may affect the variation of agronomically significant traits. We demonstrate how lineage-specific expansion of rice gene families may have contributed to the formation of reproduction isolation (e.g., the recognition of pollen and male sterility), thus brightening the role in driving mating system evolution during the evolutionary process of recent speciation. We document thousands of positively selected genes that are mainly involved in flower development, ripening, pollination, reproduction and response to biotic- and abiotic stresses. We show that selection pressures may serve as crucial forces to govern substantial genomic alterations among the three rice species that form the genetic basis of rapid evolution of mating and reproductive systems under diverse habitats. This first chromosome-based wild rice genome in the genus Oryza will become powerful to accelerate the exploration of untapped genomic diversity from wild rice for the enhancement of elite rice cultivars.

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