DOI: 10.1093/hr/uhad260 ISSN: 2052-7276

Telomere-to-telomere and gap-free genome assembly of a susceptible grapevine species (Thompson Seedless) to facilitate grape functional genomics

Xianhang Wang, Mingxing Tu, Ya Wang, Yali Zhang, Wuchen Yin, Jinghao Fang, Min Gao, Zhi Li, Wei Zhan, Yulin Fang, Junyang Song, Zhumei Xi, Xiping Wang
  • Horticulture
  • Plant Science
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology


Grapes are globally recognized as economically significant fruit trees. Among grape varieties, Thompson Seedless holds paramount influence for fresh consumption and for extensive applications in winemaking, drying, and juicing. This variety is one of the most efficient genotypes for grape genetic modification. However, the lack of a high-quality genome has impeded effective breeding efforts. Here, we present the high-quality reference genome of Thompson Seedless with all 19 chromosomes represented as 19 contiguous sequences (N50 = 27.1 Mb) with zero gaps and predication of all telomeres and centromeres. Compared to the previous assembly (TSv1 version), the new assembly incorporates an additional 31.5 Mb of high-quality sequenced data with annotation of a total of 30397 protein-coding genes. We also performed a meticulous analysis to identify Nucleotide-binding Leucine-rich Repeat genes (NLRs) in Thompson Seedless and two wild grape varieties renowned for their disease resistance. Our analysis revealed a significant reduction in the number of two types of NLRs, TIR-NB-LRR (TNL) and CC-NB-LRR (CNL) in Thompson Seedless, which may have led to its sensitivity to many fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, and an increase in the number of a third type, RPW8 (resistance to powdery mildew 8)-NB-LRR (RNL). Subsequently, transcriptome analysis showed significant enrichment of NLRs during powdery mildew infection, emphasizing the pivotal role of these elements in grapevine's defense against powdery mildew. The successful assembly of a high-quality Thompson Seedless reference genome significantly contributes to grape genomics research, providing insight into the importance of seedlessness, disease resistance, and color traits, and these data can be used to facilitate grape molecular breeding efforts.

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