Location: Forage and Range ResearchTitle: Turfgrass genome sequencing from the USDA-ARS turfgrass consortium
Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2021
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Turfgrass species have such complex breeding systems that it is challenging to improve them genetically. By sequencing their genomes we can identify the genes that affect drought tolerance and other traits much better. To this end the USDA-ARS Turfgrass Consortium has sequenced nine turfgrass genomes. We are using these already to improve our ability to genetically map drought tolerance and other traits.
Technical Abstract: Turfgrass research into functional traits has been hampered by the complexity of turfgrass genetic systems such as polyploidy, self-incompatibility, and large genome sizes. To help overcome these challenges, genome sequence provides an ability to more accurately identify genes and genetic mechanisms affecting traits of interest. To this end, the USDA-ARS Turfgrass Consortium has initiated the sequencing and assembly of at least nine cool- and warm-season turfgrass genomes: annual bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, annual ryegrass, creeping bentgrass, colonial bentgrass, triploid bermudagrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, and povertygrass. We have targeted at least 40x PacBio HiFi coverage, assembly using HiCanu and HiFiasm, annotation using full-length cDNAs, and scaffolding using proximity ligation and HiRise software. All but the last two genomes have been fully sequenced and scaffolded, and data is freely available upon request with public repositories and genome browsers coming soon. Early applications include the improve mapping of genotyping-by-sequencing and transcriptome analyses. Preliminary analysis of Poa annua was able to separate scaffolds and their corresponding genes into P. supina and P. infirma subgenomes. Preliminary analysis of perennial and annual ryegrasses found and sorted vernalization genes with potential to identify interspecific crosses between those two species.