Polyploid Genome Assembly Provides Insights into Morphological Development and Ascorbic Acid Accumulation of Sauropus androgynus
Published:20 Feb.2024    Source:Journal of Molecular Sciences
Sauropus androgynus (S. androgynus) (2n = 4x = 52) is one of the most popular functional leafy vegetables in South and Southeast Asia. With its rich nutritional and pharmaceutical values, it has traditionally had widespread use for dietary and herbal purposes. Here, the genome of S. androgynus was sequenced and assembled, revealing a genome size of 1.55 Gb with 26 pseudo-chromosomes.
Phylogenetic analysis traced back the divergence of Sauropus from Phyllanthus to approximately 29.67 million years ago (Mya). Genome analysis revealed that S. androgynus polyploidized around 20.51 Mya and shared a γ event about 132.95 Mya. Gene function analysis suggested that the expansion of pathways related to phloem development, lignin biosynthesis, and photosynthesis tended to result in the morphological differences among species within the Phyllanthaceae family, characterized by varying ploidy levels. The high accumulation of ascorbic acid in S. androgynus was attributed to the high expression of genes associated with the L-galactose pathway and recycling pathway.
Moreover, the expanded gene families of S. androgynus exhibited multiple biochemical pathways associated with its comprehensive pharmacological activity, geographic adaptation and distinctive pleasurable flavor. Altogether, our findings represent a crucial genomic asset for S. androgynus, casting light on the intricate ploidy within the Phyllanthaceae family.