Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition ResearchTitle: A happy accident: a novel turfgrass reference genome
|PHILLIPS, ALYSSA - University Of California, Davis|
|SEETHARAM, ARUN - Iowa State University|
|AUBUCHON-ELDER, TAYLOR - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center|
|Buckler, Edward - Ed|
|GILLESPIE, LYNN - Canadian Museum Of Nature|
|HUFFORD, MATTHEW - Iowa State University|
|LLACA, VICTOR - Corteva Agriscience|
|ROMAY, MARIA - Cornell University|
|SORENG, ROBERT - Smithsonian Research Institute|
|KELLOGG, ELIZABETH - Donald Danforth Plant Science Center|
|ROSS-IBARRA, JEFFEREY - University Of California, Davis|
Submitted to: bioRxiv
Publication Type: Pre-print Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/9/2022
Publication Date: 3/9/2022
Citation: Phillips, A.R., Seetharam, A.S., Aubuchon-Elder, T., Buckler IV, E.S., Gillespie, L.J., Hufford, M.B., Llaca, V., Romay, M.C., Soreng, R.J., Kellogg, E.A., Ross-Ibarra, J. 2022. A happy accident: a novel turfgrass reference genome. bioRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2022.03.08.483531.
Interpretive Summary: P. pratensis , commonly known as Kentucky bluegrass, is a popular grass species used in lawns and recreation areas worldwide. However, despite it's widespread use, a reference genome has not been assembled because it is biologically complex and has a large genome. This paper presents a de novo assembly and annotation of a P. pratensis. This reference genome and annotation will be an important resource for turfgrass breeding and biologists interested in this complex species.
Technical Abstract: Poa pratensis, commonly known as Kentucky bluegrass, is a popular cool-season grass species used as turf in lawns and recreation areas globally. Despite its substantial economic value, a reference genome had not previously been assembled due to the genome’s relatively large size and biological complexity that includes apomixis, polyploidy, and interspecific hybridization. We report here a fortuitous de novo assembly and annotation of a P. pratensis genome. The draft assembly consists of 6.09 Gbp with an N50 scaffold length of 65.1 Mbp, and a total of 118 scaffolds, generated using PacBio long reads and Bionano optical map technology. We annotated 256K gene models and found 58% of the genome to be composed of transposable elements. To demonstrate the applicability of the reference genome, we evaluated population structure and estimated genetic diversity in three North American wild P. pratensis populations. Our results support previous studies that found high genetic diversity and population structure within the species. The reference genome and annotation will be an important resource for turfgrass breeding and biologists interested in this complex species.