Apr 6, 2015

Genome of octoploid plant maca (Lepidium meyenii) illuminates genomic basis for high altitude adaptation in the central Andes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jun ShengWen Wang

Abstract

Maca ( Lepidium meyenii Walp, 2n = 8× = 64) of Brassicaceae family is an Andean economic plant cultivated on the 4000-4500 meters central sierra in Peru. Considering the rapid uplift of central Andes occurred 5 to 10 million years ago (Mya), an evolutionary question arises on how plants like maca acquire high altitude adaptation within short geological period. Here, we report the high-quality genome assembly of maca, in which two close-spaced maca-specific whole genome duplications (WGDs, ∼ 6.7 Mya) were identified. Comparative genomics between maca and close-related Brassicaceae species revealed expansions of maca genes and gene families involved in abiotic stress response, hormone signaling pathway and secondary metabolite biosynthesis via WGDs. Retention and subsequent evolution of many duplicated genes may account for the morphological and physiological changes (i.e. small leaf shape and loss of vernalization) in maca for high altitude environment. Additionally, some duplicated maca genes under positive selection were identified with functions in morphological adaptation (i.e. MYB59 ) and development (i.e. GDPD5 and HDA9 ). Collectively, the octoploid maca genome sheds light on the important roles of WGDs in plant high alti...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Central
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Maca
Genome
Genes
Cellular Response to Abiotic Stimulus
Genomic Stability
Genome Assembly Sequence
Signal Transduction Pathways
Morphological

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