Karat (Musa troglodytarum L.) is an autotriploid Fe'i banana of the Australimusa section. Karat was domesticated independently in the Pacific region, and karat fruit are characterized by a pink sap, a deep yellow-orange flesh colour, and an abundance of β-carotene. Karat fruit showed non-climacteric behaviour, with an approximately 215-day bunch filling time. These features make karat a valuable genetic resource for studying the mechanisms underlying fruit development and ripening and carotenoid biosynthesis.

Here, we report the genome of M. troglodytarum, which has a total length of 603 Mb and contains 37,577 predicted protein-coding genes. After divergence from the most recent common ancestors, M. troglodytarum (T genome) has experienced fusion of ancestral chromosomes 8 and 9 and multiple translocations and inversions, unlike the high synteny with few rearrangements found among M. schizocarpa (S genome), M. acuminata (A genome) and M. balbisiana (B genome). Genome microsynteny analysis showed that the triplication of MtSSUIIs due to chromosome rearrangement may lead to the accumulation of carotenoids and ABA in the fruit. The expression of duplicated MtCCD4s is repressed during ripening, leading to the accumulation of α-carotene, β-carotene and phytoene. Due to a long terminal repeat (LTR)-like fragment insertion upstream of MtERF11, karat cannot produce large amounts of ethylene but can produce ABA during ripening. These lead to non-climacteric behaviour and prolonged shelf-life, which contributes to an enrichment of carotenoids and riboflavin.

The high-quality genome of M. troglodytarum revealed the genomic basis of non-climacteric behaviour and enrichment of carotenoids, riboflavin, flavonoids and free galactose and provides valuable resources for further research on banana domestication and breeding and the improvement of nutritional and bioactive qualities.

Publication Date
2022 Aug 24
Cross Reference
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Li Z, Wang J, Fu Y, Jing Y, Huang B, Chen Y, Wang Q, Wang XB, Meng C, Yang Q, Xu L. The Musa troglodytarum L. genome provides insights into the mechanism of non-climacteric behaviour and enrichment of carotenoids.. BMC biology. 2022 Aug 24; 20(1):186.