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Transcriptome resources for the perennial sunflower Helianthus maximiliani obtained from ecologically divergent populations

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Abstract

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies provide a rapid means to generate genomic resources for species exhibiting interesting ecological and evolutionary variation but for which such resources are scant or nonexistent. In the current report, we utilize 454 pyrosequencing to obtain transcriptome information for multiple individuals and tissue types from geographically disparate and ecologically differentiated populations of the perennial sunflower species Helianthus maximiliani. A total of 850 275 raw reads were obtained averaging 355 bp in length. Reads were assembled, postprocessing, into 16 681 unique contigs with an N50 of 898 bp and a total length of 13.6 Mb. A majority (67%) of these contigs were annotated based on comparison with the Arabidopsis thaliana genome (TAIR10). Contigs were identified that exhibit high similarity to genes associated with natural variation in flowering time and freezing tolerance in other plant species and will facilitate future studies aimed at elucidating the molecular basis of clinal life history variation and adaptive differentiation in H. maximiliani. Large numbers of gene-associated simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) also were identified that can be deployed in mapping and population genomic analyses.

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