Comparative analysis of chloroplast genomes of cultivars and wild species of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam)

Sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam.) is an important food crop. However, the genetic information of the nuclear genome of this species is difficult to determine accurately because of its large genome and complex genetic background. This drawback has limited studies on the origin, evolution, genetic diversity and other relevant studies on sweetpotato.

The chloroplast genomes of 107 sweetpotato cultivars were sequenced, assembled and annotated. The resulting chloroplast genomes were comparatively analysed with the published chloroplast genomes of wild species of sweetpotato. High similarity and certain specificity were found among the chloroplast genomes of Ipomoea spp. Phylogenetic analysis could clearly distinguish wild species from cultivars. Ipomoea trifida and Ipomoea tabascana showed the closest relationship with the cultivars, and different haplotypes of ycf1 could be used to distinguish the cultivars from their wild relatives. The genetic structure was analyzed using variations in the chloroplast genome. Compared with traditional nuclear markers, the chloroplast markers designed based on the InDels on the chloroplast genome showed significant advantages.

Comparative analysis of chloroplast genomes of 107 cultivars and several wild species of sweetpotato was performed to help analyze the evolution, genetic structure and the development of chloroplast DNA markers of sweetpotato.