The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses

The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the ∼730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing ∼98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the ∼75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization ∼70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum–rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum’s drought tolerance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Springer Journals

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved
ISSN
0028-0836
eISSN
1476-4687
D.O.I.
10.1038/nature07723
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the ∼730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing ∼98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the ∼75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization ∼70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum–rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum’s drought tolerance.

Journal

NatureSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 29, 2009

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