Analysis of papaya BAC end sequences reveals first insights into the organization of a fruit tree genome

Chun Wan J. Lai, Qingyi Yu, Shaobin Hou, Rachel L. Skelton, Meghan R. Jones, Kanako L.T. Lewis, Jan Murray, Moriah Eustice, Peizhu Guan, Ricelle Agbayani, Paul H. Moore, Ray Ming, Gernot G. Presting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Papaya (Carica papaya L.) is a major tree fruit crop of tropical and subtropical regions with an estimated genome size of 372 Mbp. We present the analysis of 4.7% of the papaya genome based on BAC end sequences (BESs) representing 17 million high-quality bases. Microsatellites discovered in 5,452 BESs and flanking primer sequences are available to papaya breeding programs at Sixteen percent of BESs contain plant repeat elements, the vast majority (83.3%) of which are class I retrotransposons. Several novel papaya-specific repeats were identified. Approximately 19.1% of the BESs have homology to Arabidopsis cDNA. Increasing numbers of completely sequenced plant genomes and BES projects enable novel approaches to comparative plant genomics. Paired BESs of Carica, Arabidopsis, Populus, Brassica and Lycopersicon were mapped onto the completed genomes of Arabidopsis and Populus. In general the level of microsynteny was highest between closely related organisms. However, papaya revealed a higher degree of apparent synteny with the more distantly related poplar than with the more closely related Arabidopsis. This, as well as significant colinearity observed between peach and poplar genome sequences, support recent observations of frequent genome rearrangements in the Arabidopsis lineage and suggest that the poplar genome sequence may be more useful for elucidating the papaya and other rosid genomes. These insights will play a critical role in selecting species and sequencing strategies that will optimally represent crop genomes in sequence databases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Bacterial artificial chromosome
  • Carica papaya
  • Comparative genomics
  • Genome mapping
  • Microsatellite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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