Tapping the promise of genomics in species with complex, nonmodel genomes

Candice N. Hirsch, C. Robin Buell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Genomics is enabling a renaissance in all disciplines of plant biology. However, many plant genomes are complex and remain recalcitrant to current genomic technologies. The complexities of these nonmodel plant genomes are attributable to gene and genome duplication, heterozygosity, ploidy, and/or repetitive sequences. Methods are available to simplify the genome and reduce these barriers, including inbreeding and genome reduction, making these species amenable to current sequencing and assembly methods. Some, but not all, of the complexities in nonmodel genomes can be bypassed by sequencing the transcriptome rather than the genome. Additionally, comparative genomics approaches, which leverage phylogenetic relatedness, can aid in the interpretation of complex genomes. Although there are limitations in accessing complex nonmodel plant genomes using current sequencing technologies, genome manipulation and resourceful analyses can allow access to even the most recalcitrant plant genomes. ©

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-110
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Plant Biology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Genome assembly
  • Heterozygosity
  • Transcriptome

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