PLANT GENOMICS

Columbine's puzzling chromosome

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 1015
DOI: 10.1126/science.362.6418.1015-a

Aquilegia coerulea is found widely around the Northern Hemisphere.

PHOTO: ISTOCK.COM/MICHAELJUST

The columbine genus Aquilegia is found across the Northern Hemisphere and arose through two adaptive radiations, giving rise to 70 extant species. Filiault et al. deep sequenced Aquilegia coerulea to create a reference genome and compared it to 10 other sequenced Aquilegia spp. from Europe, Asia, and North America. Although the genomes generally exhibited low genetic diversity within species, consistent with previous studies, chromosome 4 showed an overall greater diversity, a higher number of older genetic variants, and different phylogenetic relationships among the species. The differences in chromosome 4 relative to the rest of the genome may be due to hybridization among species and a differential reduction in selection after Aquilegia diversified for this chromosome.

eLife 7, e36426 (2018).

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