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Hortic Res. 2018 Nov 20;5:72. doi: 10.1038/s41438-018-0108-0. eCollection 2018.

The chromosome-level quality genome provides insights into the evolution of the biosynthesis genes for aroma compounds of Osmanthus fragrans.

Yang X#1,2, Yue Y#1,2, Li H1,2, Ding W1,2, Chen G1,2, Shi T1,2, Chen J3, Park MS4, Chen F3, Wang L1,2.

Author information

1Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China.
2College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing, China.
3State Key Laboratory of Ecological Pest Control for Fujian and Taiwan Crops, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou, China.
Nextomics Bioscience Institute, Wuhan, China.
Contributed equally


Sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) is a very popular ornamental tree species throughout Southeast Asia and USA particularly for its extremely fragrant aroma. We constructed a chromosome-level reference genome of O. fragrans to assist in studies of the evolution, genetic diversity, and molecular mechanism of aroma development. A total of over 118 Gb of polished reads was produced from HiSeq (45.1 Gb) and PacBio Sequel (73.35 Gb), giving 100× depth coverage for long reads. The combination of Illumina-short reads, PacBio-long reads, and Hi-C data produced the final chromosome quality genome of O. fragrans with a genome size of 727 Mb and a heterozygosity of 1.45 %. The genome was annotated using de novo and homology comparison and further refined with transcriptome data. The genome of O. fragrans was predicted to have 45,542 genes, of which 95.68 % were functionally annotated. Genome annotation found 49.35 % as the repetitive sequences, with long terminal repeats (LTR) being the richest (28.94 %). Genome evolution analysis indicated the evidence of whole-genome duplication 15 million years ago, which contributed to the current content of 45,242 genes. Metabolic analysis revealed that linalool, a monoterpene is the main aroma compound. Based on the genome and transcriptome, we further demonstrated the direct connection between terpene synthases (TPSs) and the rich aromatic molecules in O. fragrans. We identified three new flower-specific TPS genes, of which the expression coincided with the production of linalool. Our results suggest that the high number of TPS genes and the flower tissue- and stage-specific TPS genes expressions might drive the strong unique aroma production of O. fragrans.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interestThe authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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