A super-pangenome of the North American wild grape species

Cochetel N, Minio A, Guarracino A, Garcia JF, Figueroa-Balderas R, Massonnet M, Kasuga T, Londo JP, Garrison E, Gaut BS, Cantu D

Published: 19 December 2023 in Genome Biology
DOI: 10.1186/s13059-023-03133-2

Background Capturing the genetic diversity of wild relatives is crucial for improving crops because wild species are valuable sources of agronomic traits that are essential to enhance the sustainability and adaptability of domesticated cultivars. Genetic diversity across a genus can be captured in super-pangenomes, which provide a framework for interpreting genomic variations. Results Here we report the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of nine wild North American grape genomes, which are phased and scaffolded at chromosome scale. We generate a reference-unbiased super-pangenome using pairwise whole-genome alignment methods, revealing the extent of the genomic diversity among wild grape species from sequence to gene level. The pangenome graph captures genomic variation between haplotypes within a species and across the different species, and it accurately assesses the similarity of hybrids to their parents. The species selected to build the pangenome are a great representation of the genus, as illustrated by capturing known allelic variants in the sex-determining region and for Pierce’s disease resistance loci. Using pangenome-wide association analysis, we demonstrate the utility of the super-pangenome by effectively mapping short reads from genus-wide samples and identifying loci associated with salt tolerance in natural populations of grapes. Conclusions This study highlights how a reference-unbiased super-pangenome can reveal the genetic basis of adaptive traits from wild relatives and accelerate crop breeding research.

E.&J. Gallo Winery no grant ID listed
Louis P. Martini Endowment in Viticulture no grant ID listed
National Science Foundation 1741627