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Insights into angiosperm evolution, floral development and chemical biosynthesis from the Aristolochia fimbriata genome
Nature Plants  (IF15.793),  Pub Date : 2021-09-02, DOI: 10.1038/s41477-021-00990-2
Liuyu Qin, Yiheng Hu, Jinpeng Wang, Xiaoliang Wang, Ran Zhao, Hongyan Shan, Kunpeng Li, Peng Xu, Hanying Wu, Xueqing Yan, Lumei Liu, Xin Yi, Stefan Wanke, John E. Bowers, James H. Leebens-Mack, Claude W. dePamphilis, Pamela S. Soltis, Douglas E. Soltis, Hongzhi Kong, Yuannian Jiao

Aristolochia, a genus in the magnoliid order Piperales, has been famous for centuries for its highly specialized flowers and wide medicinal applications. Here, we present a new, high-quality genome sequence of Aristolochia fimbriata, a species that, similar to Amborella trichopoda, lacks further whole-genome duplications since the origin of extant angiosperms. As such, the A. fimbriata genome is an excellent reference for inferences of angiosperm genome evolution, enabling detection of two novel whole-genome duplications in Piperales and dating of previously reported whole-genome duplications in other magnoliids. Genomic comparisons between A. fimbriata and other angiosperms facilitated the identification of ancient genomic rearrangements suggesting the placement of magnoliids as sister to monocots, whereas phylogenetic inferences based on sequence data we compiled yielded ambiguous relationships. By identifying associated homologues and investigating their evolutionary histories and expression patterns, we revealed highly conserved floral developmental genes and their distinct downstream regulatory network that may contribute to the complex flower morphology in A. fimbriata. Finally, we elucidated the genetic basis underlying the biosynthesis of terpenoids and aristolochic acids in A. fimbriata.