The research team led by Prof. Lai Zhongxiong, the Director of Subtropical Fruit Tree Research Institute (Horticultural plant Bioengineering Research Institute), firstly published the whole genome sequence of longan in GigaDBin the world. Their achievement was published online in the form of a research article titled 《Genome-wide sequencing of longan (DimocarpuslonganLour.) provides insights into molecular basis of its polyphenol-rich characteristics》 in the journal of Giga Science(published by Oxford University Press, IF=7.46) （DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/gix023）.
The signature unit of the first author of the paper was FAFU, Pof. Lai Zhongxiong was the corresponding author, and associate professor Lin Yuling was the first author of the paper. The cooperation units included the Beijing Genomics Institute BGI, James D. Watson Institute of Genome Sciences, International crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), University of Western Australia.
The published genome database of longan was the first genome database of Sapindaceae plants. This research achievement had an important reference value to the studies on the evolution of Sapindaceae plants, research in comparative genomics and related fields. The deciphering of longan genome marked that FAFU reached the leading level in the related field in the world.
Through five years’ effort, the research team led by Lai Zhongxiong overcame the difficulties of high heterozygosity of longan genome, and arrived to assemble a high-quality longan genome sketch; at the same time, the re-sequencing of more than 10 representative varieties of longan revealed the high genetic diversity of longan. The transcriptome analysis of different tissues and organs revealed the molecular mechanisms of the rich content of longan fruit in phenols and other secondary metabolites and hight resistance. The research achievement was of great significance for the germplasm resource research, genetic improvement and utilization of the medicinal value in longan and its related species.
In the long term, the deciphering of the longan genome will provide a new platform for genetic improvement and breeding of longan. It will promote the breeding of new longan varieties with higher yields, more medicinal value and genetic diversity in the future.
Correspondant/Photogragher: College of Horticulture Chen Yukun
Translator: Zheng Wei
Auditor: Overseas Education College Lu Yunhai