Location: Southern Horticultural ResearchTitle: Next generation sequencing of rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum 'Premier') and transcriptome comparisons to highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) genomic resources
Submitted to: Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/2014
Publication Date: 3/9/2015
Citation: Rinehart, T.A. 2015. Next generation sequencing of rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium virgatum 'Premier') and transcriptome comparisons to highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum) genomic resources. Blueberry Research Extension North American Workers Conference Proceedings. p. 1.
Technical Abstract: Vaccinium virgatum (syn V. ashei) is commonly known as rabbiteye blueberry and native to the Southeastern United States. Cultivars are typically grown from North Carolina south to Florida and west to Texas for commercial blueberry production. In the Southeast, plants exhibit superior environmental tolerance and have fewer disease and insect concerns that highbush varieties (Vaccinium corymbosum), although some southern highbush (Vaccinium corymbosum X Vaccinium darrowii ) include V. virgatum in their genetic backgrounds. Extensive genomic work has been done on V. corymbosum, both diploid and tetraploid, but not much has been done with V. virgatum, which is hexaploid. Our study included five V. virgatum cultivars; TifBlue, Climax, PowderBlue, Austin, and Premiere. Tissues were collected from clonally propagated plants for each cultivar at multiple developmental stages including buds, berries, leaves, and roots. Tissue was also collected from root and leaves during drought treatments. First sequencing results were produced for all growth stages of ‘Premiere’ using Nextera Total RNA kit and Illumina MiSeq instruments. Transcriptomes were compared to existing genomic resources for highbush to determine the relative overlap in genes and address concerns about hexaploid status for future projects such as genotype by sequencing.