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Long-read and chromosome-scale assembly of the hexaploid wheat genome achieves high resolution for research and breeding.

bioRxiv 2022
Aury JM, et al.

Jean-Marc Aury, Stefan Engelen, Benjamin Istace, Cécile Monat, Pauline Lasserre-Zuber, Caroline Belser, Corinne Cruaud, Hélène Rimbert, Philippe Leroy, Sandrine Arribat, Isabelle Dufau, Arnaud Bellec, David Grimbichler, Nathan Papon, Etienne Paux, Marion Ranoux, Adriana Alberti, Patrick Wincker, Frédéric Choulet.

The sequencing of the wheat (Triticum aestivum) genome has been a methodological challenge for many years due to its large size (15.5 Gb), repeat content, and hexaploidy. Many initiatives aiming at obtaining a reference genome of cultivar Chinese Spring have been launched in the past years and it was achieved in 2018 as the result of a huge effort to combine short-read sequencing with many other resources. Reference-quality genome assemblies were then produced for other accessions but the rapid evolution of sequencing technologies offers opportunities to reach high-quality standards at lower cost. Here, we report on an optimized procedure based on long-reads produced on the ONT (Oxford Nanopore Technology) PromethION device to assemble the genome of the French bread wheat cultivar Renan. We provide the most contiguous and complete chromosome-scale assembly of a bread wheat genome to date. Coupled with an annotation based on RNA-Seq data, this resource will be valuable for the crop community and will facilitate the rapid selection of agronomically important traits. We also provide a framework to generate high-quality assemblies of complex genomes using ONT.

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