BMC Genomics, 2016, 17 (1) : 1-15.09 Sep 2016 Comprehensive repeatome annotation reveals strong potential impact of repetitive elements on tomato ripening
Jouffroy, O. ; Saha, S. ; Mueller, L. ; Quesneville, H. ; Maumus, F.
Background: Plant genomes are populated by different types of repetitive elements including transposable elements (TEs) and simple sequence repeats (SSRs) that can have a strong impact on genome size and dynamic as well as on the regulation of gene transcription. At least two-thirds of the tomato genome is composed of repeats. While their bulk impact on genome organization has been recently revealed by whole genome assembly, their influence on tomato biology and phenotype remains largely unaddressed. More specifically, the effects and roles of DNA repeats on the maturation of fleshy fruits, which is a complex process of key agro-economic interest, still needs to be investigated comprehensively and tomato is arguably an excellent model for such study. Results: We have performed a comprehensive annotation of the tomato repeatome to explore its potential impact on tomato genome composition and gene transcription. Our results show that the tomato genome can be fractioned into three compartments with different gene and repeat density, each compartment presenting contrasting repeat and gene composition, repeat-gene associations and different gene transcriptional levels. In the context of fruit ripening, we found that repeats are present in the majority of differentially methylated regions (DMRs) and thousands of repeat-associated DMRs are found in gene proximity including hundreds that are differentially regulated. Furthermore, we found that repeats are also present in the proximity of binding sites of the key ripening protein RIN. We also observed that some repeat families are present at unexpected high frequency in the proximity of genes that are differentially expressed during tomato ripening. Conclusion: Altogether, our study emphasizes the fractionation as defined by repeat content in the tomato genome and enables to further characterize the specificities of each genomic compartment. Additionally, our results present strong associations between differentially regulated genes, differentially methylated regions and repeats, suggesting a potential adaptive function of repeats in tomato ripening. Our work therefore provides significant perspectives for the understanding of the impact of repeats on the maturation of fleshy fruits.