A chromosome‐scale assembly of allotetraploid Brassica juncea (AABB) elucidates comparative architecture of the A and B genomes

Brassica juncea (AABB), commonly referred to as mustard, is a natural allopolyploid of two diploid species—B. rapa (AA) and B. nigra (BB). We report a highly contiguous genome assembly of an oleiferous type of B. juncea variety Varuna, an archetypical Indian gene pool line of mustard, with ~100× PacBio single‐molecule real‐time (SMRT) long reads providing contigs with an N50 value of >5 Mb. Contigs were corrected for the misassemblies and scaffolded with BioNano optical mapping.

We also assembled a draft genome of B. nigra (BB) variety Sangam using Illumina short‐read sequencing and Oxford Nanopore long reads and used it to validate the assembly of the B genome of B. juncea. Two different linkage maps of B. juncea, containing a large number of genotyping‐by‐sequencing markers, were developed and used to anchor scaffolds/contigs to the 18 linkage groups of the species. The resulting chromosome‐scale assembly of B. juncea Varuna is a significant improvement over the previous draft assembly of B. juncea Tumida, a vegetable type of mustard.

The assembled genome was characterized for transposons, centromeric repeats, gene content and gene block associations. In comparison to the A genome, the B genome contains a significantly higher content of LTR/Gypsy retrotransposons, distinct centromeric repeats and a large number of B. nigra specific gene clusters that break the gene collinearity between the A and the B genomes.

The B. juncea Varuna assembly will be of major value to the breeding work on oleiferous types of mustard that are grown extensively in south Asia and elsewhere.

Authors: Kumar Paritosh, Satish Kumar Yadava, Priyansha Singh, Latika Bhayana, Arundhati Mukhopadhyay, Vibha Gupta, Naveen Chandra Bisht, Jianwei Zhang, David A. Kudrna, Dario Copetti, Rod A. Wing, Vijaya Bhasker Reddy Lachagari, , Akshay Kumar Pradhan, Deepak Pental