Chromosome-Level Reference Genome and Population Genomic Analysis Provide Insights into the Evolution and Improvement of Domesticated Mulberry (Morus alba)


Mulberry (Morus spp.) is the sole plant consumed by the domesticated silkworm. However, the genome of domesticated mulberry has not yet been sequenced, and the ploidy level of this species remains unclear. Here, we report a high-quality, chromosome-level domesticated mulberry (Morus alba) genome. Analysis of genomic data and karyotype analyses confirmed that M. alba is a diploid with 28 chromosomes (2n = 2x = 28). Population genomic analysis based on resequencing of 134 mulberry accessions classified domesticated mulberry into three geographical groups, namely, Taihu Basin of southeastern China (Hu mulberry), northern and southwestern China, and Japan. Hu mulberry had the lowest nucleotide diversity among these accessions and demonstrated obvious signatures of selection associated with environmental adaptation. Further phylogenetic analysis supports a previous proposal that multiple domesticated mulberry accessions previously classified as different species actually belong to one species. This study expands our understanding of genome evolution of the genus Morus and population structure of domesticated mulberry, which would facilitate mulberry breeding and improvement.

Publication Title

Molecular Plant