Jujube genome study sheds light on fruit tree’s domestication

Source: Science Daily

Date:December 23, 2016

Source:Boyce Thompson Institute

Summary:Researchers have sequenced the genome of the dry jujube. They identified the genomic region that underlies the sugar and acid content of the fruits — a key factor in jujube domestication — as well as genes involved in fruit texture and breeding compatibility. The genome will serve as a resource for jujube breeding efforts.

The high quality genome sequence of the dry jujube, along with sequences from trees throughout its range, have illuminated the domestication history of this ancient fruit tree, which humans have grown for more than 7,000 years.

Researchers at the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) collaborated with a group led by Xingang Li of Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China to sequence the dry jujube, or “Chinese date.” The study, published in PLOS Genetics, identifies the genomic region underlying the sugar and acid content of the fruits, a key factor in jujube domestication. The researchers also identified genes involved in fruit texture and breeding compatibility. Breeders who are involved in the slow process of creating improved jujube varieties can use the sequences to help guide future breeding decisions.

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