In the context of climate change, drought is one of the most limiting factors that influence crop production. Maize, as a major crop, is highly vulnerable to water deficit, which causes significant yield loss. Thus, identification and utilization of drought-resistant germplasm are crucial for the genetic improvement of the trait. Here we report on a high-quality genome assembly of a prominent drought-resistant genotype, CIMBL55. Genomic and genetic variation analyses revealed that 65 favorable alleles of 108 previously identified drought-resistant candidate genes were found in CIMBL55, which may constitute the genetic basis for its excellent drought resistance. Notably, ZmRtn16, encoding a reticulon-like protein, was found to contribute to drought resistance by facilitating the vacuole H+-ATPase activity, which highlights the role of vacuole proton pumps in maize drought resistance. The assembled CIMBL55 genome provided a basis for genetic dissection and improvement of plant drought resistance, in support of global food security.
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CIMBL55: a repository for maize drought resistance alleles
Stress Biology Open Access 19 May 2023
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All genomic data mentioned in this paper are available at NCBI under the project of PRJNA765111, including the CIMBL55 genome sequence (JAJHUH000000000) and the raw sequencing data used for the assembly (PacBio, illumina, Bionano, Hi-C) and DNA methylation analysis (BS-seq) of CIMBL55, B73, Mo17, wild type (LH244) and zmdrd1 mutants (SRP338635). Source data are provided with this paper. Supplementary figures and source data are available at Figshare (https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.21709943)72.
We deposited customized scripts in the following GitHub repository (https://github.com/ttian627/CIMBL55_genome_assembly) and Zenodo (https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7523457)73.
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We thank the great technical support of generating and propagating the transgenic maize provided by the staff in the Center of Crop Functional Genomics and Molecular Breeding at CAU. This research was supported by the Beijing Outstanding Young Scientist Program (BJJWZYJH01201910019026), the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFD1200703), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31625022, 32171940) and Chinese Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2019M660874, 2021T140714).
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Supplementary Figs. 1–12.
Supplementary Tables 1–12.
Statistical supporting data of Supplementary Figs. 1, 6, 8, 10, 11.
Source Data Figs. 2–6
Statistical source data.
Source Data Fig. 6
Unprocessed western blots.
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Tian, T., Wang, S., Yang, S. et al. Genome assembly and genetic dissection of a prominent drought-resistant maize germplasm. Nat Genet 55, 496–506 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41588-023-01297-y
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