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Reference Quality Assembly of the 3.5 Gb genome of Capsicum annuum from a Single Linked-Read Library

By Amanda M. Hulse-Kemp, Shamoni Maheshwari, Kevin Stoffel, Theresa A. Hill, David Jaffe, Stephen Williams, Neil Weisenfeld, Srividya Ramakrishnan, Vijay Kumar, Preyas Shah, Michael C. Schatz, Deanna M Church, Allen Van Deynze

Posted 20 Jun 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/152777 (published DOI: 10.1038/s41438-017-0011-0)

Background: Linked-Read sequencing technology has recently been employed successfully for de novo assembly of multiple human genomes, however the utility of this technology for complex plant genomes is unproven. We evaluated the technology for this purpose by sequencing the 3.5 gigabase (Gb) diploid pepper (Capsicum annuum) genome with a single Linked-Read library. Plant genomes, including pepper, are characterized by long, highly similar repetitive sequences. Accordingly, significant effort is used to ensure the sequenced plant is highly homozygous and the resulting assembly is a haploid consensus. With a phased assembly approach, we targeted a heterozygous F1 derived from a wide cross to assess the ability to derive both haplotypes for a pungency gene characterized by a large insertion/deletion. Results: The Supernova software generated a highly ordered, more contiguous sequence assembly than all currently available C. annuum reference genomes. Eighty-four percent of the final assembly was anchored and oriented using four de novo linkage maps. A comparison of the annotation of conserved eukaryotic genes indicated the completeness of assembly. The validity of the phased assembly is further demonstrated with the complete recovery of both 2.5 kb insertion/deletion haplotypes of the PUN1 locus in the F1 sample that represents pungent and non-pungent peppers. Conclusions: The most contiguous pepper genome assembly to date has been generated through this work which demonstrates that Linked-Read library technology provides a rapid tool to assemble de novo complex highly repetitive heterozygous plant genomes. This technology can provide an opportunity to cost-effectively develop high-quality reference genome assemblies for other complex plants and compare structural and gene differences through accurate haplotype reconstruction.

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