The genome of the extremophile crucifer Thellungiella parvula

Maheshi Dassanayake, Dongha Oh, Jeffrey S. Haas, Álvaro Gonzalez Hernández, Hyewon Hong, Shahjahan Ali, Daejin Yun, Ray Anthony Bressan, Jian-Kang Zhu, Hans Jürgen Bohnert, John McP Cheeseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

264 Scopus citations


Thellungiella parvula is related to Arabidopsis thaliana and is endemic to saline, resource-poor habitats, making it a model for the evolution of plant adaptation to extreme environments. Here we present the draft genome for this extremophile species. Exclusively by next generation sequencing, we obtained the de novo assembled genome in 1,496 gap-free contigs, closely approximating the estimated genome size of 140 Mb. We anchored these contigs to seven pseudo chromosomes without the use of maps. We show that short reads can be assembled to a near-complete chromosome level for a eukaryotic species lacking prior genetic information. The sequence identifies a number of tandem duplications that, by the nature of the duplicated genes, suggest a possible basis for T. parvula's extremophile lifestyle. Our results provide essential background for developing genomically influenced testable hypotheses for the evolution of environmental stress tolerance. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)913-918
Number of pages6
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 7 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank M. P. D'Urzo (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA) for providing plant materials and J.-H. Mun (National Academy of Agricultural Science, Suwon, Korea) for providing the B. rapa chromosome sequence. We also gratefully acknowledge M. Vaughn (University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA), S. Jackman, M. Krzywinski (Michael Smith Genome Sciences Center, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) and SeqAnswers online forum (see URLs) for advice on genome assembly and visualization. Funding has been provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, by the World Class by recording the numbers of genes included or not included in a subcategory for each species and ranking the statistical significance of the differences.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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