AbstractRed alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) is an ecologically significant and important fast-growing commercial tree species native to western coastal and riparian regions of North America, having highly desirable wood, pigment, and medicinal properties. We have sequenced the genome of a rapidly growing clone. The assembly is nearly complete, containing the full complement of expected genes. This supports our objectives of identifying and studying genes and pathways involved in nitrogen-fixing symbiosis and those related to secondary metabolites that underlie red alder's many interesting defense, pigmentation, and wood quality traits. We established that this clone is most likely diploid and identified a set of SNPs that will have utility in future breeding and selection endeavors, as well as in ongoing population studies. We have added a well-characterized genome to others from the order Fagales. In particular, it improves significantly upon the only other published alder genome sequence, that of Alnus glutinosa. Our work initiated a detailed comparative analysis of members of the order Fagales and established some similarities with previous reports in this clade, suggesting a biased retention of certain gene functions in the vestiges of an ancient genome duplication when compared with more recent tandem duplications.
Published: September 22, 2023