Draft genome sequence of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis
BACKGROUND:Hevea brasiliensis, a member of the Euphorbiaceae family, is the major commercial source of natural rubber (NR). NR is a latex polymer with high elasticity, flexibility, and resilience that has played a critical role in the world economy since 1876.RESULTS:Here, we report the draft genome sequence of H. brasiliensis. The assembly spans ~1.1 Gb of the estimated 2.15 Gb haploid genome. Overall, ~78% of the genome was identified as repetitive DNA. Gene prediction shows 68,955 gene models, of which 12.7% are unique to Hevea. Most of the key genes associated with rubber biosynthesis, rubberwood formation, disease resistance, and allergenicity have been identified.CONCLUSIONS:The knowledge gained from this genome sequence will aid in the future development of high-yielding clones to keep up with the ever increasing need for natural rubber.