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The highly embryogenic and transformable maize inbred line A188 is an attractive model for analyzing maize gene function. Here we constructed a chromosome-level genome assembly of A188 using long reads and optical maps. Genome comparison of A188 with the reference line B73 identified pervasive structural variation, including a 1.8 Mb duplication on the Gametophyte factor1 locus for unilateral cross-incompatibility and six inversions of 0.7 Mb or greater. Increased copy number of the gene, carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 ( ccd1 ) in A188 is associated with elevated expression during seed development. High ccd1 expression together with low expression of yellow endosperm 1 ( y1 ) condition reduced carotenoid accumulation, which accounts for the white seed phenotype of A188 that contrasts with the yellow seed of B73 that has high expression of y1 and low expression of the single-copy ccd1 . Further, transcriptome and epigenome analyses with the A188 reference genome revealed enhanced expression of defense pathways and altered DNA methylation patterns of embryonic callus. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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