In Nature Genetics: Solanum pennellii genome

The genome of the stress-tolerant wild tomato species Solanum pennellii

Anthony Bolger, … , Christa Lanz, … , Korbinian Schneeberger, … Daniel Koenig, … , Detlef Weigel, Björn Usadel & Alisdair R Fernie

Nature Genetics (2014) doi:10.1038/ng.3046

Solanum pennellii is a wild tomato species endemic to Andean regions in South America, where it has evolved to thrive in arid habitats. Because of its extreme stress tolerance and unusual morphology, it is an important donor of germplasm for the cultivated tomato Solanum lycopersicum. Introgression lines (ILs) in which large genomic regions of S. lycopersicum are replaced with the corresponding segments from S. pennellii can show remarkably superior agronomic performance. Here we describe a high-quality genome assembly of the parents of the IL population. By anchoring the S. pennellii genome to the genetic map, we define candidate genes for stress tolerance and provide evidence that transposable elements had a role in the evolution of these traits. Our work paves a path toward further tomato improvement and for deciphering the mechanisms underlying the myriad other agronomic traits that can be improved with S. pennellii germplasm.