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Crop Biotech Update

Rose Genome Provides New Insights into the Domestication of Modern Roses

May 9, 2018

A study conducted by a multinational team and published in Nature Genetics reveals a new, detailed breakdown of the modern rose genome. This could help growers improve traits such as pest and drought resistance, and boost the vase life of cut stems, researchers said.

The new map is based largely on the genome of a rose known as "Old Blush" or Rosa chinensis, introduced to Europe from Asia in the 18th century. With its 36,377 genes, the Old Blush is considered one of the main ancestors of today's tens of thousands of rose cultivars from some 200 known, wild species. The major contribution of Old Blush to the creation of modern varieties is the trait of repeat flowering.

The rose genome comprises 36,377 inferred protein-coding genes and 3,971 long non-coding RNAs. Annotation assessment identified 96.5% complete gene models and analyses identified 93.5% complete genes. On the basis of transcriptomic data from pooled tissues, 207 miRNA precursors were predicted, transposable elements spanned 67.9% of the assembly, and 50.6% were long-terminal-repeat retrotransposons.

For more details, read the open-access paper in Nature Genetics.