Nicotiana genomes: beyond tobacco
While Nicotiana tabacum is likely the most notable species from the Nicotiana genus, various other Nicotiana species are cultivated as crops, grown as ornamental garden plants, or used as model organisms in research. Within Solanaceae, Nicotiana species are peculiar first because although most Solanaceae species are diploids, a high number of Nicotiana species are tetraploids; and second because they have relatively large genomes that are similar in size with Capsicum species and two to three times larger than Solanum and Petunia species.
To date, the genomes of N. benthamiana, N. otophora, N. sylvestris, N. tabacum and N. tomentosiformis have been sequenced and draft assemblies published, enabling genome-based evolutionary studies of Nicotiana species. With the exception of N. benthamiana, all the published Nicotiana genomes are however closely related to N. tabacum. To complement these already published genomes we present here new draft genomes for additional Nicotiana species, which we expect will contribute to further our understanding of the diversity and of the impact of polypoidization in the Nicotiana genus.