Population sequencing enhances understanding of tea plant evolution

Xinchao Wang, Hu Feng, Yuxiao Chang, Chunlei Ma, Liyuan Wang, Xinyuan Hao, Alun Li, Hao Cheng, Lu Wang, Peng Cui, Jiqiang Jin, Xiaobo Wang, Kang Wei, Cheng Ai, Zhichao Wu, Sheng Zhao, Youyong Li, Benying Liu, Guodong Wang, Liang Chen, Jue Ruan, Yajun Yang

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Received Date: 16th March 20

Tea is an economically important plant characterized by a large genome size and high heterozygosity and species diversity. In this study, we assembled a 3.26 Gb high-quality chromosome-scale genome for tea using the ‘Longjing 43’ cultivar of Camellia sinensis var. sinensis. Population resequencing of 139 tea accessions from around the world was used to investigate the evolution of tea and to reveal the phylogenetic relationships among tea accessions. With the spread of tea cultivation, hybridization has increased the heterozygosity and wide-ranging gene flow among tea populations. Population genetics and transcriptomics analyses revealed that during domestication, the selection for disease resistance and flavor in C. sinensis var. sinensis populations has been stronger than that in C. sinensis var. assamica populations. The data compiled in this study provide new resources for the marker assisted breeding of tea and are a basis for further research on the genetics and evolution of tea.

Read in full at bioRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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