A chromosome-scale genome assembly of European hazel (Corylus avellana L.) reveals targets for crop improvement

Lucas, Stuart J. and Kahraman, Kadriye and Avşar Esmaeilialiabadi, Bihter and Buggs, Richard J.A. and Bilge, İpek (2021) A chromosome-scale genome assembly of European hazel (Corylus avellana L.) reveals targets for crop improvement. Plant Journal, 105 (5). pp. 1413-1430. ISSN 0960-7412 (Print) 1365-313X (Online)

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The European hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) is a tree crop of economic importance worldwide, but especially for northern Turkey, where the majority of production takes place. Hazelnut production is currently challenged by environmental stresses, such as a recent outbreak of severe powdery mildew disease; furthermore, allergy to hazelnuts is an increasing health concern in some regions. In order to provide a foundation for using the available hazelnut genetic resources for crop improvement, we produced a fully assembled genome sequence and annotation for a hazelnut species, from C. avellana cv. ‘Tombul’, one of the most important Turkish varieties. A hybrid sequencing strategy, combining short reads, long reads and proximity ligation methods, enabled us to resolve heterozygous regions and produce a high-quality 370-Mb assembly that agrees closely with cytogenetic studies and genetic maps of the 11 C. avellana chromosomes, and covers 97.8% of the estimated genome size. The genome includes 27 270 high-confidence protein-coding genes, over 20 000 of which were functionally annotated based on homology with known plant proteins. We focused particularly on gene families encoding hazelnut allergens, and the Mildew resistance Locus O (MLO) proteins that are an important susceptibility factor for powdery mildew. The complete assembly enabled us to differentiate between members of these families and to identify homologues that may be important in mildew disease and hazelnut allergy. These findings provide examples of how the genome can be used to guide research and to develop effective strategies for crop improvement in C. avellana.
Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corylus avellana; European hazel; food allergy; genome assembly; powdery mildew disease
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences > Academic programs > Biological Sciences & Bio Eng.
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center
Depositing User: Bihter Avşar Esmaeilialiabadi
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 10:47
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2022 10:47
URI: https://research.sabanciuniv.edu/id/eprint/43275

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