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The genome sequence of the North-European cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) unravels evolutionary adaptation mechanisms in plants

Rafał Wóycicki, Justyna Witkowicz, Piotr Gawroński, Joanna Dąbrowska, Alexandre Lomsadze, Magdalena Pawełkowicz, Ewa Siedlecka, Kohei Yagi, Wojciech Pląder, Anna Seroczyńska, Mieczysław Śmiech, Wojciech Gutman, Katarzyna Niemirowicz-Szczytt, Grzegorz Bartoszewski, Norikazu Tagashira, Yoshikazu Hoshi, Mark Borodovsky, Stanisław Karpiński, Stefan Malepszy, Zbigniew Przybecki
PloS One 2011, 6 (7): e22728
21829493
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a widely cultivated crop, has originated from Eastern Himalayas and secondary domestication regions includes highly divergent climate conditions e.g. temperate and subtropical. We wanted to uncover adaptive genome differences between the cucumber cultivars and what sort of evolutionary molecular mechanisms regulate genetic adaptation of plants to different ecosystems and organism biodiversity. Here we present the draft genome sequence of the Cucumis sativus genome of the North-European Borszczagowski cultivar (line B10) and comparative genomics studies with the known genomes of: C. sativus (Chinese cultivar--Chinese Long (line 9930)), Arabidopsis thaliana, Populus trichocarpa and Oryza sativa. Cucumber genomes show extensive chromosomal rearrangements, distinct differences in quantity of the particular genes (e.g. involved in photosynthesis, respiration, sugar metabolism, chlorophyll degradation, regulation of gene expression, photooxidative stress tolerance, higher non-optimal temperatures tolerance and ammonium ion assimilation) as well as in distributions of abscisic acid-, dehydration- and ethylene-responsive cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in promoters of orthologous group of genes, which lead to the specific adaptation features. Abscisic acid treatment of non-acclimated Arabidopsis and C. sativus seedlings induced moderate freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis but not in C. sativus. This experiment together with analysis of abscisic acid-specific CRE distributions give a clue why C. sativus is much more susceptible to moderate freezing stresses than A. thaliana. Comparative analysis of all the five genomes showed that, each species and/or cultivars has a specific profile of CRE content in promoters of orthologous genes. Our results constitute the substantial and original resource for the basic and applied research on environmental adaptations of plants, which could facilitate creation of new crops with improved growth and yield in divergent conditions.

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