The red bayberry genome and genetic basis of sex determination

Hui Min Jia, Hui Juan Jia, Qing Le Cai, Yan Wang, Hai Bo Zhao, Wei Fei Yang, Guo Yun Wang, Ying Hui Li, Dong Liang Zhan, Yu Tong Shen, Qing Feng Niu, Le Chang, Jie Qiu, Lan Zhao, Han Bing Xie, Wan Yi Fu, Jing Jin, Xiong Wei Li, Yun Jiao, Chao Chao ZhouTing Tu, Chun Yan Chai, Jin Long Gao, Long Jiang Fan, Eric van de Weg, Jun Yi Wang*, Zhong Shan Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Morella rubra, red bayberry, is an economically important fruit tree in south China. Here, we assembled the first high-quality genome for both a female and a male individual of red bayberry. The genome size was 313-Mb, and 90% sequences were assembled into eight pseudo chromosome molecules, with 32 493 predicted genes. By whole-genome comparison between the female and male and association analysis with sequences of bulked and individual DNA samples from female and male, a 59-Kb region determining female was identified and located on distal end of pseudochromosome 8, which contains abundant transposable element and seven putative genes, four of them are related to sex floral development. This 59-Kb female-specific region was likely to be derived from duplication and rearrangement of paralogous genes and retained non-recombinant in the female-specific region. Sex-specific molecular markers developed from candidate genes co-segregated with sex in a genetically diverse female and male germplasm. We propose sex determination follow the ZW model of female heterogamety. The genome sequence of red bayberry provides a valuable resource for plant sex chromosome evolution and also provides important insights for molecular biology, genetics and modern breeding in Myricaceae family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-409
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018


  • genome
  • Morella rubra
  • sex-determining region
  • sex-linked marker


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