A Long-Read Transcriptome Assembly of Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) and Intraspecific Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Discovery.
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Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) has a narrow germplasm base, which constrains marker development and hampers intraspecific breeding. A pressing need exists for high-throughput single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers that can be readily applied to germplasm in breeding and breeding-related research programs. Despite progress made in developing new sequencing technologies during the past decade, the cost of sequencing remains substantial when one is dealing with numerous samples and large genomes. Several strategies have been proposed to lower the cost of sequencing for multiple genotypes of large-genome species like cotton, such as transcriptome sequencing and reduced-representation DNA sequencing. This paper reports the development of a transcriptome assembly of the inbred line Texas Marker-1 (TM-1), a genetic standard for cotton, its usefulness as a reference for RNA sequencing (RNA-seq)-based SNP identification, and the availability of transcriptome sequences of four other cotton cultivars. An assembly of TM-1 was made using Roche 454 transcriptome reads combined with an assembly of all available public expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences of TM-1. The TM-1 assembly consists of 72,450 contigs with a total of 70 million bp. Functional predictions of the transcripts were estimated by alignment to selected protein databases. Transcriptome sequences of the five lines, including TM-1, were obtained using an Illumina Genome Analyzer-II, and the short reads were mapped to the TM-1 assembly to discover SNPs among the five lines. We identified >14,000 unfiltered allelic SNPs, of which 3,700 SNPs were retained for assay development after applying several rigorous filters. This paper reports availability of the reference transcriptome assembly and shows its utility in developing intraspecific SNP markers in upland cotton.