29 September 2010

The genome of the domesticated apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.)

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A relatively recent (>50 million years ago) genome-wide duplication (GWD) has resulted in the transition from nine ancestral chromosomes to 17 chromosomes in the Pyreae
We report a high-quality draft genome sequence of the domesticated apple (Malus × domestica). We show that a relatively recent (>50 million years ago) genome-wide duplication (GWD) has resulted in the transition from nine ancestral chromosomes to 17 chromosomes in the Pyreae.Traces of older GWDs partly support the monophyly of the ancestral paleohexaploidy of eudicots.

Phylogenetic reconstruction of Pyreae and the genus Malus, relative to major Rosaceae taxa, identified the progenitor of the cultivated apple as M. sieversii. Expansion of gene families reported to be involved in fruit development may explain formation of the pome, a Pyreae-specific false fruit that develops by proliferation of the basal part of the sepals, the receptacle. In apple, a subclade of MADS-box genes, normally involved in flower and fruit development, is expanded to include 15 members, as are other gene families involved in Rosaceae-specific metabolism, such as transport and assimilation of sorbitol.

(Nature genetics)

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