Author(s): Sveinsson S, McDill J, Wong GK, Li J, Li X,
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Cultivated flax (Linum usitatissimum) is known to have undergone a whole-genome duplication around 5-9 million years ago. The aim of this study was to investigate whether other whole-genome duplication events have occurred in the evolutionary history of cultivated flax. Knowledge of such whole-genome duplications will be important in understanding the biology and genomics of cultivated flax. METHODS: Transcriptomes of 11 Linum species were sequenced using the Illumina platform. The short reads were assembled de novo and the DupPipe pipeline was used to look for signatures of polyploidy events from the age distribution of paralogues. In addition, phylogenies of all paralogues were assembled within an estimated age window of interest. These phylogenies were assessed for evidence of a paleopolyploidy event within the genus Linum. KEY RESULTS: A previously unknown paleopolyploidy event that occurred 20-40 million years ago was discovered and shown to be specific to a clade within Linum containing cultivated flax (L. usitatissimum) and other mainly blue-flowered species. The finding was supported by two lines of evidence. First, a significant change of slope (peak) was shown in the age distribution of paralogues that was phylogenetically restricted to, and ubiquitous in, this clade. Second, a large number of paralogue phylogenies were retrieved that are consistent with a polyploidy event occurring within that clade. CONCLUSIONS: The results show the utility of multi-species transcriptomics for detecting whole-genome duplication events and demonstrate that that multiple rounds of polyploidy have been important in shaping the evolutionary history of flax. Understanding and characterizing these whole-genome duplication events will be important for future Linum research.
This article was published in Ann Bot
and referenced in Journal of Proteomics & Bioinformatics