Gossypium barbadense genome sequence provides insight into the evolution of extra-long staple fiber and specialized metabolites

Sci Rep. 2015 Sep 30;5:14139. doi: 10.1038/srep14139.


Of the two cultivated species of allopolyploid cotton, Gossypium barbadense produces extra-long fibers for the production of superior textiles. We sequenced its genome (AD)2 and performed a comparative analysis. We identified three bursts of retrotransposons from 20 million years ago (Mya) and a genome-wide uneven pseudogenization peak at 11-20 Mya, which likely contributed to genomic divergences. Among the 2,483 genes preferentially expressed in fiber, a cell elongation regulator, PRE1, is strikingly At biased and fiber specific, echoing the A-genome origin of spinnable fiber. The expansion of the PRE members implies a genetic factor that underlies fiber elongation. Mature cotton fiber consists of nearly pure cellulose. G. barbadense and G. hirsutum contain 29 and 30 cellulose synthase (CesA) genes, respectively; whereas most of these genes (>25) are expressed in fiber, genes for secondary cell wall biosynthesis exhibited a delayed and higher degree of up-regulation in G. barbadense compared with G. hirsutum, conferring an extended elongation stage and highly active secondary wall deposition during extra-long fiber development. The rapid diversification of sesquiterpene synthase genes in the gossypol pathway exemplifies the chemical diversity of lineage-specific secondary metabolites. The G. barbadense genome advances our understanding of allopolyploidy, which will help improve cotton fiber quality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / genetics
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism
  • Biological Evolution*
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Computational Biology / methods
  • Cotton Fiber*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Genomics* / methods
  • Gossypium / genetics*
  • Gossypium / metabolism*
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Molecular Sequence Annotation
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Polyploidy
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable
  • Sesquiterpenes / metabolism
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • Sesquiterpenes
  • phytoalexins
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • terpene synthase

Associated data

  • BioProject/PRJNA251673