A chromosome-level genome assembly of the wild rice Oryza rufipogon facilitates tracing the origins of Asian cultivated rice

Sci China Life Sci. 2021 Feb;64(2):282-293. doi: 10.1007/s11427-020-1738-x. Epub 2020 Jul 28.


Oryza rufipogon Griff. is a wild progenitor of the Asian cultivated rice Oryza sativa. To better understand the genomic diversity of the wild rice, high-quality reference genomes of O. rufipogon populations are needed, which also facilitate utilization of the wild genetic resources in rice breeding. In this study, we generated a chromosome-level genome assembly of O. rufipogon using a combination of short-read sequencing, single-molecule sequencing, BioNano and Hi-C platforms. The genome sequence (399.8 Mb) was assembled into 46 scaffolds on the 12 chromosomes, with contig N50 and scaffold N50 of 13.2 Mb and 20.3 Mb, respectively. The genome contains 36,520 protein-coding genes, and 49.37% of the genome consists of repetitive elements. The genome has strong synteny with those of the O. sativa subspecies indica and japonica, but containing some large structural variations. Evolutionary analysis unveiled the polyphyletic origins of O. sativa, in which the japonica and indica genome formations involved different divergent O. rufipogon (including O. nivara) lineages, accompanied by introgression of genomic regions between japonica and indica. This high-quality reference genome provides insight on the genome evolution of the wild rice and the origins of the O. sativa subspecies, and valuable information for basic research and rice breeding.

Keywords: Oryza rufipogon; evolution; genome; genome sequencing; rice.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics*
  • Crops, Agricultural / classification
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Genome, Plant / genetics*
  • Oryza / classification
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Phylogeny*
  • Plant Breeding
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods
  • Species Specificity
  • Synteny