The genetic architecture of floral traits in the woody plant Prunus mume

Nat Commun. 2018 Apr 27;9(1):1702. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04093-z.


Mei (Prunus mume) is an ornamental woody plant that has been domesticated in East Asia for thousands of years. High diversity in floral traits, along with its recent genome sequence, makes mei an ideal model system for studying the evolution of woody plants. Here, we investigate the genetic architecture of floral traits in mei and its domestication history by sampling and resequencing a total of 351 samples including 348 mei accessions and three other Prunus species at an average sequencing depth of 19.3×. Highly-admixed population structure and introgression from Prunus species are identified in mei accessions. Through a genome-wide association study (GWAS), we identify significant quantitative traits locus (QTLs) and genomic regions where several genes, such as MYB108, are positively associated with petal color, stigma color, calyx color, and bud color. Results from this study shed light on the genetic basis of domestication in flowering plants, particularly woody plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Domestication
  • Flowers / genetics*
  • Genome, Plant / genetics*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Phenotype*
  • Phylogeny
  • Prunus / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA