Background: Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) is one of the most widely planted and commercially important forest tree species in the USA and worldwide, and is an object of intense genomic research. However, whole genome resequencing in loblolly pine is hampered by its large size and complexity and a lack of a good reference. As a valid and more feasible alternative, entire exome sequencing was hence employed to identify the gene-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and to genotype the sampled trees.

Results: The exons were captured in the ADEPT2 association mapping population of 375 clonally-propagated loblolly pine trees using NimbleGen oligonucleotide hybridization probes, and then exome-enriched genomic DNA fragments were sequenced using the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform. Oligonucleotide probes were designed based on 199,723 exons (≈49 Mbp) partitioned from the loblolly pine reference genome (PineRefSeq v. 1.01). The probes covered 90.2 % of the target regions. Capture efficiency was high; on average, 67 % of the sequence reads generated for each tree could be mapped to the capture target regions, and more than 70 % of the captured target bases had at least 10X sequencing depth per tree. A total of 972,720 high quality SNPs were identified after filtering. Among them, 53 % were located in coding regions (CDS), 5 % in 5’ or 3’ untranslated regions (UTRs) and 42 % in non-target and non-coding regions, such as introns and adjacent intergenic regions collaterally captured. We found that linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed very rapidly, with the correlation coefficient (r 2) between pairs of SNPs linked within single scaffolds decaying to half maximum (r 2 = 0.22) within 55 bp, to r 2 = 0.1 within 192 bp, and to r 2 = 0.05 within 451 bp. Population structure analysis using unlinked SNPs demonstrated the presence of two main distinct clusters representing western and eastern parts of the loblolly pine range included in our sample of trees.

Conclusions: The obtained results demonstrated the efficiency of exome capture for genotyping species such as loblolly pine with a large and complex genome. The highly diverse genetic variation reported in this study will be a valuable resource for future genetic and genomic research in loblolly pine.

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Published in BMC Genomics, v. 17, 730, p. 1-11.

© 2016 The Author(s).

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Funding Information 

This study was funded by the Pine Integrated Network: Education, Mitigation, and Adaptation Project (PINEMAP), a Coordinated Agricultural Project funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Award #2011-68002-30185.

Related Content

The data sets supporting the results of this article are included within the article and additional files. The raw SNP data and Illumina HiSeq short read sequences are deposited in the NCBI Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Database (dbSNP) (accession numbers ss1995911273-ss1996900602; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/SNP) and Sequence Read Archive (SRA) (accession number SRP075363; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sra).

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Additional file 1: Table S1.

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Additional file 2: Figure S1.

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Additional file 3: Table S2.

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Additional file 4: Table S3.

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Additional file 5: Figure S2.