A highly contiguous genome assembly of Brassica nigra (BB) and revised nomenclature for the pseudochromosomes

BMC Genomics. 2020 Dec 11;21(1):887. doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-07271-w.


Background: Brassica nigra (BB), also called black mustard, is grown as a condiment crop in India. B. nigra represents the B genome of U's triangle and is one of the progenitor species of B. juncea (AABB), an important oilseed crop of the Indian subcontinent. We report the genome assembly of B. nigra variety Sangam.

Results: The genome assembly was carried out using Oxford Nanopore long-read sequencing and optical mapping. A total of 1549 contigs were assembled, which covered ~ 515.4 Mb of the estimated ~ 522 Mb of the genome. The final assembly consisted of 15 scaffolds that were assigned to eight pseudochromosomes using a high-density genetic map of B. nigra. Around 246 Mb of the genome consisted of the repeat elements; LTR/Gypsy types of retrotransposons being the most predominant. The B genome-specific repeats were identified in the centromeric regions of the B. nigra pseudochromosomes. A total of 57,249 protein-coding genes were identified of which 42,444 genes were found to be expressed in the transcriptome analysis. A comparison of the B genomes of B. nigra and B. juncea revealed high gene colinearity and similar gene block arrangements. A comparison of the structure of the A, B, and C genomes of U's triangle showed the B genome to be divergent from the A and C genomes for gene block arrangements and centromeric regions.

Conclusions: A highly contiguous genome assembly of the B. nigra genome reported here is an improvement over the previous short-read assemblies and has allowed a comparative structural analysis of the A, B, and C genomes of the species belonging to the U's triangle. Based on the comparison, we propose a new nomenclature for B. nigra pseudochromosomes, taking the B. rapa pseudochromosome nomenclature as the reference.

Keywords: Brassica nigra; Evolution; Gene blocks; Genome assembly; Pseudochromosome nomenclature.

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Genome, Plant*
  • India
  • Mustard Plant* / genetics
  • Retroelements


  • Retroelements