The first draft of the pigeonpea genome sequence

Nagendra K Singh, Deepak K Gupta, Pawan K Jayaswal, Ajay K Mahato, Sutapa Dutta, Sangeeta Singh, Shefali Bhutani, Vivek Dogra, Bikram P Singh, Giriraj Kumawat, Jitendra K Pal, Awadhesh Pandit, Archana Singh, Hukum Rawal, Akhilesh Kumar, G Rama Prashat, Ambika Khare, Rekha Yadav, Ranjit S Raje, Mahendra N Singh, Subhojit Datta, Bashasab Fakrudin, Keshav B Wanjari, Rekha Kansal, Prasanta K Dash, Pradeep K Jain, Ramcharan Bhattacharya, Kishor Gaikwad, Trilochan Mohapatra, R Srinivasan, Tilak R Sharma
Journal of Plant Biochemistry and Biotechnology 2012, 21: 98-112
Pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) is an important grain legume of the Indian subcontinent, South-East Asia and East Africa. More than eighty five percent of the world pigeonpea is produced and consumed in India where it is a key crop for food and nutritional security of the people. Here we present the first draft of the genome sequence of a popular pigeonpea variety 'Asha'. The genome was assembled using long sequence reads of 454 GS-FLX sequencing chemistry with mean read lengths of >550 bp and >10-fold genome coverage, resulting in 510,809,477 bp of high quality sequence. Total 47,004 protein coding genes and 12,511 transposable elements related genes were predicted. We identified 1,213 disease resistance/defense response genes and 152 abiotic stress tolerance genes in the pigeonpea genome that make it a hardy crop. In comparison to soybean, pigeonpea has relatively fewer number of genes for lipid biosynthesis and larger number of genes for cellulose synthesis. The sequence contigs were arranged in to 59,681 scaffolds, which were anchored to eleven chromosomes of pigeonpea with 347 genic-SNP markers of an intra-species reference genetic map. Eleven pigeonpea chromosomes showed low but significant synteny with the twenty chromosomes of soybean. The genome sequence was used to identify large number of hypervariable 'Arhar' simple sequence repeat (HASSR) markers, 437 of which were experimentally validated for PCR amplification and high rate of polymorphism among pigeonpea varieties. These markers will be useful for fingerprinting and diversity analysis of pigeonpea germplasm and molecular breeding applications. This is the first plant genome sequence completed entirely through a network of Indian institutions led by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and provides a valuable resource for the pigeonpea variety improvement.

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