Background: Comparative genomics is a formidable tool to identify functional elements throughout a genome. In the past ten years, studies in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a set of closely related species have been instrumental in showing the benefit of analyzing patterns of sequence conservation. Increasing the number of closely related genome sequences makes the comparative genomics approach more powerful and accurate.
Results: Here, we report the genome sequence and analysis of Saccharomyces arboricolus, a yeast species recently isolated in China, that is closely related to S. cerevisiae. We obtained high quality de novo sequence and assemblies using a combination of next generation sequencing technologies, established the phylogenetic position of this species and considered its phenotypic profile under multiple environmental conditions in the light of its gene content and phylogeny.
Conclusions: We suggest that the genome of S. arboricolus will be useful in future comparative genomics analysis of the Saccharomyces sensu stricto yeasts.