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TitleThe Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses
AuthorsAndrew H. Paterson1, John E. Bowers, Remy Bruggmann, Inna Dubchak, Jane Grimwood, Heidrun Gundlach,
Georg Haberer, Uffe Hellsten, Therese Mitros, Alexander Poliakov, Jeremy Schmutz, Manuel Spannag,
Haibao Tang, Xiyin Wang, Thomas Wicker, Arvind K. Bharti, Jarrod Chapman, F. Alex Feltus, Udo Gowik,
Igor V. Grigoriev, Eric Lyons, Christopher A. Maher, Mihaela Martis, Apurva Narechania, Robert P. Otillar,
Bryan W. Penning, Asaf A. Salamov, Yu Wang, Lifang Zhang, Nicholas C. Carpita, Michael Freeling,
Alan R. Gingle, C. Thomas Hash, Beat Keller, Patricia Klein, Stephen Kresovich, Maureen C. McCann,
Ray Ming, Daniel G. Peterson, Mehboob-ur-Rahman, Doreen Ware, Peter Westhoff,
Klaus F. X. Mayer, Joachim Messing & Daniel S. Rokhsar
PublicationNATURE Vol 457
AbstractSorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial
analysis of the ~ 730-megabase Sorghumbicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing ~ 98% of genes in their chromosomal context
using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is
largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice.
Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the 75% larger genome size of
sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since
palaeopolyploidization ~ 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice
divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old.
About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may
contribute to sorghum's drought tolerance.

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.: 2009 :: Barry Marler :: Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory :: University of Georgia