Genomic variation among and within six Juglans species

Kristian A. Stevens, Keith Woeste, Sandeep Chakraborty, Marc W. Crepeau, Charles A. Leslie, Pedro J. Martínez-García, Daniela Puiu, Jeanne Romero-Severson, Mark Coggeshall, Abhaya M. Dandekar, Daniel Kluepfel, David B. Neale, Steven L. Salzberg, Charles H. Langley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Genomic analysis in Juglans (walnuts) is expected to transform the breeding and agricultural production of both nuts and lumber. To that end, we report here the determination of reference sequences for six additional relatives of Juglans regia: Juglans sigillata (also from section Dioscaryon), Juglans nigra, Juglans microcarpa, Juglans hindsii (from section Rhysocaryon), Juglans cathayensis (from section Cardiocaryon), and the closely related Pterocarya stenoptera.While these are 'draft' genomes, ranging in size between 640Mbp and 990Mbp, their contiguities and accuracies can support powerful annotations of genomic variation that are often the foundation of new avenues of research and breeding. We annotated nucleotide divergence and synteny by creating complete pairwise alignments of each reference genome to the remaining six. In addition, we have re-sequenced a sample of accessions from four Juglans species (including regia). The variation discovered in these surveys comprises a critical resource for experimentation and breeding, as well as a solid complementary annotation. To demonstrate the potential of these resources the structural and sequence variation in and around the polyphenol oxidase loci, PPO1 and PPO2 were investigated. As reported for other seed crops variation in this gene is implicated in the domestication of walnuts. The apparently Juglandaceae specific PPO1 duplicate shows accelerated divergence and an excess of amino acid replacement on the lineage leading to accessions of the domesticated nut crop species, Juglans regia and sigillata.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2153-2165
Number of pages13
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Genomic variation
  • Juglans
  • Polyphenol oxidase
  • Reference genomes
  • Walnut

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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