Genome sequencing of Metrosideros polymorpha (Myrtaceae), a dominant species in various habitats in the Hawaiian Islands with remarkable phenotypic variations

J Plant Res. 2016 Jul;129(4):727-736. doi: 10.1007/s10265-016-0822-3. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


Whole genome sequences, which can be provided even for non-model organisms owing to high-throughput sequencers, are valuable in enhancing the understanding of adaptive evolution. Metrosideros polymorpha, a tree species endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, occupies a wide range of ecological habitats and shows remarkable polymorphism in phenotypes among/within populations. The biological functions of genetic variations observed within this species could provide significant insights into the adaptive radiation found in a single species. Here de novo assembled genome sequences of M. polymorpha are presented to reveal basic genomic parameters about this species and to develop our knowledge of ecological divergences. The assembly yielded 304-Mbp genome sequences, half of which were covered by 19 scaffolds with >5 Mbp, and contained 30 K protein-coding genes. Demographic history inferred from the genome-wide heterozygosity indicated that this species experienced a dramatic rise and fall in the effective population size, possibly owing to past geographic or climatic changes in the Hawaiian Islands. This M. polymorpha genome assembly represents a high-quality genome resource useful for future functional analyses of both intra- and interspecies genetic variations or comparative genomics.

Keywords: Genome; Hawaii; Heterozygosity; Metrosideros; PSMC; Wild plants.

MeSH terms

  • Ecosystem*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Genome Size
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Hawaii
  • Islands*
  • Myrtaceae / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA*
  • Species Specificity