The reference genome of Miscanthus floridulus illuminates the evolution of Saccharinae

Guobin Zhang, Chunxia Ge, Pingping Xu, Shukai Wang, Senan Cheng, Yanbin Han, Yancui Wang, Yongbin Zhuang, Xinwei Hou, Ting Yu, Xitong Xu, Shuhan Deng, Quanquan Li, Yinqing Yang, Xiaoru Yin, Weidong Wang, Wenxue Liu, Chunxiao Zheng, Xuezhen Sun, Zhenlin WangRay Ming, Shuting Dong, Jianxin Ma, Xiansheng Zhang, Cuixia Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Miscanthus, a member of the Saccharinae subtribe that includes sorghum and sugarcane, has been widely studied as a feedstock for cellulosic biofuel production. Here, we report the sequencing and assembly of the Miscanthus floridulus genome by the integration of PacBio sequencing and Hi-C mapping, resulting in a chromosome-scale, high-quality reference genome of the genus Miscanthus. Comparisons among Saccharinae genomes suggest that Sorghum split first from the common ancestor of Saccharum and Miscanthus, which subsequently diverged from each other, with two successive whole-genome duplication events occurring independently in the Saccharum genus and one whole-genome duplication occurring in the Miscanthus genus. Fusion of two chromosomes occurred during rediploidization in M. floridulus and no significant subgenome dominance was observed. A survey of cellulose synthases (CesA) in M. floridulus revealed quite high expression of most CesA genes in growing stems, which is in agreement with the high cellulose content of this species. Resequencing and comparisons of 75 Miscanthus accessions suggest that M. lutarioriparius is genetically close to M. sacchariflorus and that M. floridulus is more distantly related to other species and is more genetically diverse. This study provides a valuable genomic resource for molecular breeding and improvement of Miscanthus and Saccharinae crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)608-618
Number of pages11
JournalNature plants
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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