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Article|01 Mar 2021|OPEN
The Corylus mandshurica genome provides insights into the evolution of Betulaceae genomes and hazelnut breeding
Ying Li1, Pengchuan Sun2, Zhiqiang Lu3,4, Jinyuan Chen1, Zhenyue Wang1, Xin Du1, Zeyu Zheng1, Ying Wu1, Hongyin Hu1, Jiao Yang1, Jianxiang Ma1, Jianquan Liu1,2 & Yongzhi Yang1,
1State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystem, Institute of Innovation Ecology & School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China
2Key Laboratory of Bio-Resource and Eco-Environment of Ministry of Education & State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics & Mountain River Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
3CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 666303 Mengla, Yunnan, China
4Center of Plant Ecology, Core Botanical Gardens, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 666303 Mengla, Yunnan, China

Horticulture Research 8,
Article number: 54 (2021)
doi: 10.1038/hortres.2021.54
Views: 252

Received: 22 Jun 2020
Revised: 11 Jan 2021
Accepted: 20 Jan 2020
Published online: 01 Mar 2021


Hazelnut is popular for its flavor, and it has also been suggested that hazelnut is beneficial to cardiovascular health because it is rich in oleic acid. Here, we report the first high-quality chromosome-scale genome for the hazelnut species Corylus mandshurica (2n = 22), which has a high concentration of oleic acid in its nuts. The assembled genome is 367.67 Mb in length, and the contig N50 is 14.85 Mb. All contigs were assembled into 11 chromosomes, and 28,409 protein-coding genes were annotated. We reconstructed the evolutionary trajectories of the genomes of Betulaceae species and revealed that the 11 chromosomes of the hazelnut genus were derived from the most ancestral karyotype in Betula pendula, which has 14 protochromosomes, by inferring homology among five Betulaceae genomes. We identified 96 candidate genes involved in oleic acid biosynthesis, and 10 showed rapid evolution or positive selection. These findings will help us to understand the mechanisms of lipid synthesis and storage in hazelnuts. Several gene families related to salicylic acid metabolism and stress responses experienced rapid expansion in this hazelnut species, which may have increased its stress tolerance. The reference genome presented here constitutes a valuable resource for molecular breeding and genetic improvement of the important agronomic properties of hazelnut.