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Optical maps refine the bread wheat Triticum aestivum cv Chinese Spring genome assembly

the Plant Journal 2021
Zhu T. et al

Until recently, achieving a reference‐quality genome sequence for bread wheat was long thought beyond the limits of genome sequencing and assembly technology, primarily due to the large genome size and >80% repetitive sequence content. The release of the chromosome scale 14.5 Gb IWGSC RefSeq v1.0 genome sequence of bread wheat cv. Chinese Spring (CS) was therefore a milestone. Here, we used a DLS (direct label and stain) optical map of the CS genome together with a prior NLRS (nick, label, repair, and stain) optical map, and sequence contigs assembled with Pacific Biosciences long reads, to refine the v1.0 assembly. Inconsistencies between the sequence and maps were reconciled and gaps were closed. Gap filling and anchoring of 279 unplaced scaffolds increased the total length of pseudomolecules by 168 Mb (excluding Ns). Positions and orientations were corrected for 233 and 354 scaffolds, respectively, representing 10% of the genome sequence. The accuracy of the remaining 90% of the assembly was validated. As a result of the increased contiguity, the numbers of TEs and intact TEs have increased in IWGSC RefSeq v2.1 compared to v1.0. In total, 98% of the gene models identified in v1.0 were mapped onto this new assembly through development of a dedicated approach implemented in the MAGAAT pipeline. The numbers of high‐confidence genes on pseudomolecules have increased from 105,319 to 105,534. The reconciled assembly enhances the utility of the sequence for genetic mapping, comparative genomics, gene annotation and isolation, and more general studies on the biology of wheat.

Tingting ZhuLe WangHélène RimbertJuan C. RodriguezKarin R. DealRomain De OliveiraFrédéric ChouletGabriel Keeble-GagnèreJosquin TibbitsJane RogersKellye EversoleRudi AppelsYong Q. GuMartin MascherJan DvorakMing-Cheng Luo


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