Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties.

Wang, W., Feng, B., Xiao, J., Xia, Z., Zhou, X., Li, P., Zhang, W., Wang, Y., Møller, B., Luo, M.-C., Yang, J., Chen, S., Rabinowicz, P.D., Chen, X., Zhang, H.B., You, F.M., and others (2014). "Cassava genome from a wild ancestor to cultivated varieties.", Nature Communications. doi : 10.1038/ncomms6110  Access to full text


Cassava is a major tropical food crop in the Euphorbiaceae family that has high carbohydrate production potential and adaptability to diverse environments. Here we present the draft genome sequences of a wild ancestor and a domesticated variety of cassava and comparative analyses with a partial inbred line. We identify 1,584 and 1,678 gene models specific to the wild and domesticated varieties, respectively, and discover high heterozygosity and millions of single-nucleotide variations. Our analyses reveal that genes involved in photosynthesis, starch accumulation and abiotic stresses have been positively selected, whereas those involved in cell wall biosynthesis and secondary metabolism, including cyanogenic glucoside formation, have been negatively selected in the cultivated varieties, reflecting the result of natural selection and domestication. Differences in microRNA genes and retrotransposon regulation could partly explain an increased carbon flux towards starch accumulation and reduced cyanogenic glucoside accumulation in domesticated cassava. These results may contribute to genetic improvement of cassava through better understanding of its biology.

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