The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) genome provides insights into fruit quality and ovule developmental biology

Plant Biotechnology Journal         Published: 22 December 2017

Abstract:Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) has an ancient cultivation history and has become an emerging profitable fruit crop due to its attractive features such as the bright red appearance and the high abundance of medicinally valuable ellagitannin-based compounds in its peel and aril. However, the limited genomic resources have restricted further elucidation of genetics and evolution of these interesting traits. Here, we report a 274-Mb high-quality draft pomegranate genome sequence, which covers approximately 81.5% of the estimated 336-Mb genome, consists of 2177 scaffolds with an N50 size of 1.7 Mb and contains 30 903 genes. Phylogenomic analysis supported that pomegranate belongs to the Lythraceae family rather than the monogeneric Punicaceae family, and comparative analyses showed that pomegranate and Eucalyptus grandis share the paleotetraploidy event. Integrated genomic and transcriptomic analyses provided insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the biosynthesis of ellagitannin-based compounds, the colour formation in both peels and arils during pomegranate fruit development, and the unique ovule development processes that are characteristic of pomegranate. This genome sequence provides an important resource to expand our understanding of some unique biological processes and to facilitate both comparative biology studies and crop breeding.

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