Eucalypts are the world's most widely planted hardwood trees. Their outstanding diversity, adaptability and growth have made them a global renewable resource of fibre and energy. We sequenced and assembled >94% of the 640-megabase genome of Eucalyptus grandis. Of 36,376 predicted protein-coding genes, 34% occur in tandem duplications, the largest proportion thus far in plant genomes. Eucalyptus also shows the highest diversity of genes for specialized metabolites such as terpenes that act as chemical defence and provide unique pharmaceutical oils. Genome sequencing of the E. grandis sister species E. globulus and a set of inbred E. grandis tree genomes reveals dynamic genome evolution and hotspots of inbreeding depression. The E. grandis genome is the first reference for the eudicot order Myrtales and is placed here sister to the eurosids. This resource expands our understanding of the unique biology of large woody perennials and provides a powerful tool to accelerate comparative biology, breeding and biotechnology.
Species of Eucalyptus are keystone species for ecological studies in their natural ranges and are extensively planted in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world to supply high-quality woody biomass for various applications. We report the development of a selected set of 20 dinucleotide and trinucleotide repeat microsatellites derived from Eucalyptus expressed sequence tags (ESTs). These microsatellites were selected for full transferability and homogeneous rate of polymorphism across species. They were evaluated for individual fingerprinting, parentage testing, and intraspecific population structure analyses in 6 of the most extensively studied and planted species worldwide, representing key phylogenetic sections of the largest subgenus Symphyomyrtus. This set of markers provides exceptional resolution for population genetics and molecular breeding applications in the genus Eucalyptus. As they were developed from conserved transcribed regions, the transferability and polymorphism of these microsatellites will most likely extend to the other 300 or more species within the same subgenus.
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