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An enormous Paris polyphylla genome sheds light on genome size evolution and polyphyllin biogenesis

By Jing Li, Meiqi Lv, Lei Du, A Yunga, Shijie Hao, Yaolei Zhang, Xingwang Zhang, Lidong Guo, Xiaoyang Gao, Li Deng, Xuan Zhang, Chengcheng Shi, Fei Guo, Ruxin Liu, Bo Fang, Qixuan Su, Xiang Hu, Xiaoshan Su, Liang Lin, Qun Liu, Yuehu Wang, Yating Qin, Wenwei Zhang, Shengying Li, Changning Liu, Heng Li

Posted 01 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.01.126920

The monocot family Melanthiaceae with varying genome sizes in a range of 230-fold is an ideal model to study the genome size fluctuation in plants. Its family member Paris genus demonstrates an evolutionary trend of bearing huge genomes characterized by an average c-value of 49.22 pg. Here, we report a 70.18 Gb genome assembly out of the 82.55 Gb genome of Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis (PPY), which represents the biggest sequenced genome to date. We annotate 69.53% repetitive sequences in this genome and 62.50% of which are long-terminal repeat (LTR) transposable elements. Further evolution analysis indicates that the giant genome likely results from the joint effect of common and species-specific expansion of different LTR superfamilies, which might contribute to the environment adaptation after speciation. Moreover, we identify the candidate pathway genes for the biogenesis of polyphyllins, the PPY-specific medicinal saponins, by complementary approaches including genome mining, comprehensive analysis of 31 next-generation RNA-seq data and 55.23 Gb single-molecule circular consensus sequencing (CCS) RNA-seq reads, and correlation of the transcriptome and phytochemical data of five different tissues at four growth stages. This study not only provides significant insights into plant genome size evolution, but also paves the way for the following polyphyllin synthetic biology. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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