With its small genome, peach is an ideal model for the entire genus Prunus, which includes important fruit crops and ornamentals, i.e. plums, cherries, apricots and almond.
The peach genome was assembled from the doubled haploid cultivar 'Lovell' using Sanger sequencing. The low content in repetitive DNA of the sequenced strain allowed us to obtain a highly accurate assembly that covers nearly 99% of the peach genome. As few as eight scaffolds, each one corresponding to one of the eight peach chromosomes, contained 96% of the entire genome.
In addition to the assembly of the reference genome, we resequenced 12 peach accessions. We showed that this crop suffered a strong reduction of diversity, associated with domestication, and a more recent bottleneck in western varieties, which occurred when founder varieties were introduced from Asia into the United States (16th–19th century). Despite the low nucleotide diversity in the cultivated germplasm, the resequencing effort provided an unprecedented amount of SNPs, now avaible for peach breeding.
IGA was part of the International Peach Genome Initiative (IPGI) led by the US Department of Energy, Joint Genome Institute. IGA was funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture with the project Drupomics.
Verde et al (2013) The high-quality draft genome of peach (Prunus persica) identifies unique patterns of genetic diversity, domestication and genome evolution. Nature Genetics 45(5):487-494
Verde et al (2012) Development and evaluation of a 9K SNP array for peach by internationally coordinated SNP detection and validation in breeding germplasm. PLoS One 7(4):e35668
Funded by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (MIPAAF)
Status: Drupomics project, completed