The tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution.

TitleThe tomato genome sequence provides insights into fleshy fruit evolution.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
Date Published2012 May 31
KeywordsArabidopsis, DNA, Evolution, Genetic Variation, Genome, Genomics, Lycopersicon esculentum, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Plant, RNA, Sequence Analysis, Solanum tuberosum, Soybeans, Synteny

Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) is a major crop plant and a model system for fruit development. Solanum is one of the largest angiosperm genera and includes annual and perennial plants from diverse habitats. Here we present a high-quality genome sequence of domesticated tomato, a draft sequence of its closest wild relative, Solanum pimpinellifolium, and compare them to each other and to the potato genome (Solanum tuberosum). The two tomato genomes show only 0.6% nucleotide divergence and signs of recent admixture, but show more than 8% divergence from potato, with nine large and several smaller inversions. In contrast to Arabidopsis, but similar to soybean, tomato and potato small RNAs map predominantly to gene-rich chromosomal regions, including gene promoters. The Solanum lineage has experienced two consecutive genome triplications: one that is ancient and shared with rosids, and a more recent one. These triplications set the stage for the neofunctionalization of genes controlling fruit characteristics, such as colour and fleshiness.