A Chromosome-Level Genome Assembly of Garlic (Allium sativum) Provides Insights into Genome Evolution and Allicin Biosynthesis

Garlic, an economically important vegetable, spice, and medicinal crop, produces highly enlarged bulbs and unique organosulfur compounds.

Here, we report a chromosome-level genome assembly for garlic, with a total size of approximately 16.24 Gb, as well as the annotation of 57 561 predicted protein-coding genes, making garlic the first Allium species with a sequenced genome.

Analysis of this garlic genome assembly reveals a recent burst of transposable elements, explaining the substantial expansion of the garlic genome. We examined the evolution of certain genes associated with the biosynthesis of allicin and inulin neoseries-type fructans, and provided new insights into the biosynthesis of these two compounds. Furthermore, a large-scale transcriptome was produced to characterize the expression patterns of garlic genes in different tissues and at various growth stages of enlarged bulbs.

The reference genome and large-scale transcriptome data generated in this study provide valuable new resources for research on garlic biology and breeding.

Authors: Xiudong Sun, Siyuan Zhu, Ningyang Li, Yi Cheng, Jing Zhao, Xuguang Qiao, Li Lu, Shiqi Liu, Yanzhou Wang, Chan Liu, Benping Li, Wu Guo, Shuang Gao, Zemao Yang, Fu Li, Zheng Zeng, Qing Tang, Yupeng Pan, Mengjiao Guan, Jian Zhao, Xiaoming Lu, Huanwen Meng, Zhenlin Han, Chunsheng Gao, Wenkai Jiang, Xing Zhao, Shilin Tian, Jianguang Su, Zhihui Cheng, Touming Liu