The lotus genus contains two species of Chinese lotus and American lotus. The former is widely distributed in Asian countries such as China, India and Japan, and the latter is mainly distributed in North America and the Caribbean. China is one of the origins and planting centers of lotus in the world. The relics of lotus have been found in the Hemudu cultural site more than 7000 years ago. At present, lotus is an important aquatic cash crop in China, with a cultivation area exceeding
The team members Mingrui and Li Shaohua determined to sequence the genome of Lotus. The sequencing project started in March 2011. The main sequencing and subsequent splicing and analysis have been completed by the first half of 2012. Compared with the rice and human genome projects with huge investment and long cycle, the lotus genome project takes less time and costs less.
"The successful sequencing of the lotus genome marks the entry of genomics research into aquatic plants and aquatic cash crops," said Wang Lu, an assistant researcher at Wuhan Botanical Garden.
Wang Lu said that the research provided sequence and gene resources for functional genomics and the discovery of new genes. Previously, because there was no genomic sequence or relative species with a clear sequence background, the discovery of new genes of lotus was extremely slow. The lotus genome sketch will greatly facilitate the cloning of new genes from multiple aspects.
Second, genome sequencing facilitates genetic mapping and promotes lotus molecular breeding. Wang Lu believes that the announcement of the lotus genome sequence will help scientists to further study the specific biological characteristics of lotus, including the surface structure of lotus leaves, the heat generation of lotus flowers and the secret of longevity of seeds for thousands of years. With the lotus genome sequence, it can greatly accelerate the mining of new genes.
In terms of comparative genetics and advanced chemistry, the researchers sorted out the evolutionary context of angiosperms through the "spiders" of the evolution of various organisms present in the lotus genome, combined with similar evidence from other species. At the same time, the Lotus Genome Sequencing Project ended the history of aquatic angiosperms without complete genome assembly sequences, which will promote the breeding of aquatic cash crops into a new development period.
Han Yuepeng said that in order to face production, cultivate lotus cultivars, and develop related planting techniques, the research on lotus functional genomics and molecular breeding will be carried out in depth in Wuhan Botanical Garden. "Compared with traditional conventional breeding, molecular breeding based on genomic sequence will have a boost in all aspects."
Wang Lu also believes that using the massive SNP information provided by the Lotus Genome Project, it is possible to further develop high-density SNP chips, and then develop a whole genome selection breeding chip, which will greatly improve the selection efficiency of breeding.
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