Sequencing of Australian wild rice genomes reveals ancestral relationships with domesticated rice

The related A genome species of the Oryza genus are the effective gene pool for rice. Here we report draft genomes for two Australian wild A genome taxa: O. rufipogon-like population, referred to as Taxon A and O. meridionalis-like population, referred to as Taxon B. These two taxa were sequenced and assembled by integration of short and long read next generation sequencing (NGS) data to create a genomic platform for a wider rice gene pool. Here we report that, despite the distinct chloroplast genome, the nuclear genome of the Australian Taxon A, has a sequence that is much closer to that of domesticated rice (O. sativa) than to the other Australian wild populations. Analysis of 4,643 genes in the A genome clade showed that the Australian annual, O. meridionalis, and related perennial taxa have the most divergent (around 3 million years) genome sequences relative to domesticated rice. A test for admixture showed possible introgression into the Australian Taxa A (diverged around 1.6 million years ago) especially from the wild indica/O. nivara clade in Asia. These results demonstrate that northern Australia may be the centre of diversity of the A genome Oryza and suggest the possibility that this might also be the centre of origin of this group and represent an important resource for rice improvement.
Category: Genetic diversity
Authors: Brozynska, M., et al.
Journal/Series: Plant Biotechnology Journal
Publication Year: 2016

Related links