Project description:UNLABELLED: BACKGROUND1471-2229-9-51: American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was devastated by an exotic pathogen in the beginning of the twentieth century. This chestnut blight is caused by Cryphonectria parasitica, a fungus that infects stem tissues and kills the trees by girdling them. Because of the great economic and ecological value of this species, significant efforts have been made over the century to combat this disease, but it wasn't until recently that a focused genomics approach was initiated. Prior to the Genomic Tool Development for the Fagaceae project, genomic resources available in public databases for this species were limited to a few hundred ESTs. To identify genes involved in resistance to C. parasitica, we have sequenced the transcriptome from fungal infected and healthy stem tissues collected from blight-sensitive American chestnut and blight-resistant Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) trees using ultra high throughput pyrosequencing. RESULTS: We produced over a million 454 reads, totaling over 250 million bp, from which we generated 40,039 and 28,890 unigenes in total from C. mollissima and C. dentata respectively. The functions of the unigenes, from GO annotation, cover a diverse set of molecular functions and biological processes, among which we identified a large number of genes associated with resistance to stresses and response to biotic stimuli. In silico expression analyses showed that many of the stress response unigenes were expressed more in canker tissues versus healthy stem tissues in both American and Chinese chestnut. Comparative analysis also identified genes belonging to different pathways of plant defense against biotic stresses that are differentially expressed in either American or Chinese chestnut canker tissues. CONCLUSION: Our study resulted in the identification of a large set of cDNA unigenes from American chestnut and Chinese chestnut. The ESTs and unigenes from this study constitute an important resource to the scientific community interested in the discovery of genes involved in various biological processes in Chestnut and other species. The identification of many defense-related genes differentially expressed in canker vs. healthy stem in chestnuts provides many new candidate genes for developing resistance to the chestnut blight and for studying pathways involved in responses of trees to necrotrophic pathogens. We also identified several candidate genes that may underline the difference in resistance to Cryphonectria parasitica between American chestnut and Chinese chestnut.
Project description:The <i>Castanea mollissima</i> 'Chuizhili' is an important variety of <i>C. mollissima</i> in breeding for dwarf chestnut and ornamental trees due to the weeping characteristic in China. In this study, the complete chloroplast genome of <i>C. mollissima</i> 'Chuizhili' was identified and sequenced by using Illumina sequencing data. The genome size is 160,799 bp, with a large single-copy (LSC, 90,430 bp) region, a small single-copy (SSC, 18,997 bp) region, and separated by a pair of 25,686 bp inverted repeat (IR) regions. A total of 130 genes are successfully annotated, including 83 protein-coding genes, 37 tRNA genes, 8 rRNA genes, and 2 pseudo-genes. The phylogenetic relationships revealed that <i>C. mollissima</i> 'Chuizhili' is closely related to <i>Castanea henryi</i> in Fagaceae.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima) is widely cultivated in China for nut production. This plant also plays an important ecological role in afforestation and ecosystem services. To facilitate and expand the use of C. mollissima for breeding and its genetic improvement, we report here the whole-genome sequence of C. mollissima. FINDINGS:We produced a high-quality assembly of the C. mollissima genome using Pacific Biosciences single-molecule sequencing. The final draft genome is ?785.53 Mb long, with a contig N50 size of 944 kb, and we further annotated 36,479 protein-coding genes in the genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed that C. mollissima diverged from Quercus robur, a member of the Fagaceae family, ?13.62 million years ago. CONCLUSIONS:The high-quality whole-genome assembly of C. mollissima will be a valuable resource for further genetic improvement and breeding for disease resistance and nut quality.
Project description:The Chinese chestnut (Castanea mollissima Bl.) is a woody nut crop with a high ecological value. Although many cultivars have been selected from natural seedlings, elite lines with comprehensive agronomic traits and characters remain rare. To explore genetic resources with aid of whole genome sequence will play important roles in modern breeding programs for chestnut. In this study, we generated a high-quality C. mollissima genome assembly by combining 90× Pacific Biosciences long read and 170× high-throughput chromosome conformation capture data. The assembly was 688.93 Mb in total, with a contig N50 of 2.83 Mb. Most of the assembled sequences (99.75%) were anchored onto 12 chromosomes, and 97.07% of the assemblies were accurately anchored and oriented. A total of 33,638 protein-coding genes were predicted in the C. mollissima genome. Comparative genomic and transcriptomic analyses provided insights into the genes expressed in specific tissues, as well as those associated with burr development in the Chinese chestnut. This highly contiguous assembly of the C. mollissima genome provides a valuable resource for studies aiming at identifying and characterizing agronomical-important traits, and will aid the design of breeding strategies to develop more focused, faster, and predictable improvement programs.