Genetic mapping studies have suggested that diploid cotton (Gossypium) might be an ancient polyploid. However, further evidence is lacking due to the complexity of the genome and the lack of sequence resources. Here, we used the grape (Vitis vinifera) genome as an out-group in two different approaches to further explore evidence regarding ancient genome duplication (WGD) event(s) in the diploid Gossypium lineage and its (their) effects: a genome-level alignment analysis and a local-level sequence component analysis. Both studies suggest that at least one round of genome duplication occurred in the Gossypium lineage. Also, gene densities in corresponding regions from Gossypium raimondii, V. vinifera, Arabidopsis thaliana and Carica papaya genomes are similar, despite the huge difference in their genome sizes and the different number of WGDs each genome has experienced. These observations fit the model that differences in plant genome sizes are largely explained by transposon insertions into heterochromatic regions.
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