A synteny-based draft genome sequence of the forage grass Lolium perenne

Authors Organisations
  • Stephen L. Byrne(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Istvan Nagy(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Matthias Pfeifer(Author)
    Roche Diagnostics GmbH
    Helmholtz Centre Munich
  • Ian Armstead(Author)
  • Suresh Swain(Author)
  • Bruno Studer(Author)
    ETH Zurich
  • Jacqueline Campbell(Author)
    Iowa State University of Science and Technology
    Aarhus University
  • Adrian Czaban(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Stephan Hentrup(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Frank Panitz(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Christian Bendixen(Author)
    Aarhus University
  • Jakob Hedegaard(Author)
    Aarhus University Hospital
    Aarhus University
  • Mario Caccamo(Author)
    The Genome Analysis Centre
  • Torben Asp(Author)
    Aarhus University
Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-826
Number of pages11
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number4
Early online date13 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2015
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Here we report the draft genome sequence of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne), an economically important forage and turf grass species that is widely cultivated in temperate regions worldwide. It is classified along with wheat, barley, oats and Brachypodium distachyon in the Pooideae sub-family of the grass family (Poaceae). Transcriptome data was used to identify 28 455 gene models, and we utilized macro-co-linearity between perennial ryegrass and barley, and synteny within the grass family, to establish a synteny-based linear gene order. The gametophytic self-incompatibility mechanism enables the pistil of a plant to reject self-pollen and therefore promote out-crossing. We have used the sequence assembly to characterize transcriptional changes in the stigma during pollination with both compatible and incompatible pollen. Characterization of the pollen transcriptome identified homologs to pollen allergens from a range of species, many of which were expressed to very high levels in mature pollen grains, and are potentially involved in the self-incompatibility mechanism. The genome sequence provides a valuable resource for future breeding efforts based on genomic prediction, and will accelerate the development of new varieties for more productive grasslands.


  • Lolium perenne, perennial ryegrass, genome sequence, self-incompatability, pollen allergens