University of Oulu

Fahrenkrog, A.M., Matsumoto, G.O., Toth, K. et al. Chloroplast genome assemblies and comparative analyses of commercially important Vaccinium berry crops. Sci Rep 12, 21600 (2022).

Chloroplast genome assemblies and comparative analyses of commercially important Vaccinium berry crops

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Author: Fahrenkrog, Annette M.1; Matsumoto, Gabriel O.1; Toth, Katalin2,3;
Organizations: 1Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 32611, USA
2Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, 90014, Oulu, Finland
3Inari Agriculture Nv, Industriepark Zwijnaarde 7a, 9052, Ghent, Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-20


Vaccinium is a large genus of shrubs that includes a handful of economically important berry crops. Given the numerous hybridizations and polyploidization events, the taxonomy of this genus has remained the subject of long debate. In addition, berries and berry-based products are liable to adulteration, either fraudulent or unintentional due to misidentification of species. The availability of more genomic information could help achieve higher phylogenetic resolution for the genus, provide molecular markers for berry crops identification, and a framework for efficient genetic engineering of chloroplasts. Therefore, in this study we assembled five Vaccinium chloroplast sequences representing the economically relevant berry types: northern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum), southern highbush blueberry (V. corymbosum hybrids), rabbiteye blueberry (V. virgatum), lowbush blueberry (V. angustifolium), and bilberry (V. myrtillus). Comparative analyses showed that the Vaccinium chloroplast genomes exhibited an overall highly conserved synteny and sequence identity among them. Polymorphic regions included the expansion/contraction of inverted repeats, gene copy number variation, simple sequence repeats, indels, and single nucleotide polymorphisms. Based on their in silico discrimination power, we suggested variants that could be developed into molecular markers for berry crops identification. Phylogenetic analysis revealed multiple origins of highbush blueberry plastomes, likely due to the hybridization events that occurred during northern and southern highbush blueberry domestication.

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Series: Scientific reports
ISSN: 2045-2322
ISSN-E: 2045-2322
ISSN-L: 2045-2322
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Article number: 21600
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-25434-5
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
Funding: This work was supported by the UF/IFAS royalty fund generated by the licensing of blueberry cultivars and by the European Regional Development Fund through Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme (NovelBaltic project).
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit