Rye genome sequencing

Rye is less important as a crop compared to wheat and barley, however, as a genetic model it is very well complementing wheat and barley research due to its different biology. In contrast to barley and wheat, rye is a purely cross-pollinating species with relatively strong self-incompatibility leading to strong inbreeding supression upon selfing. It has been used as a source of resistance gene introgressions into bread wheat and contributes one of the genomes in the newly synthesized crop species Triticale. Due to its lower economic value the generating of genomic resources was lagging behind in rye. We have generated initial survey sequence resources for rye by 454 sequencing of flow-sorted chromosomes giving access to the gene-space of rye. This revealed also the highly reticulate genome evolution history of rye as well as an in depth picture of genome collinearity to barley and wheat. At current we are coordinating an international joint effort for the production of a high-quality de novo chromosome-scale sequence assembly of the rye genome.