silver-seed gourd Genome

Full NameCucurbita argyrosperma subsp. argyrosperma
Common Namesilver-seed gourd
Feature TypeCount

Whole-genome duplications are an important source of evolutionary novelties that change the mode and tempo at which genetic elements evolve within a genome. The Cucurbita genus experienced a whole-genome duplication around 30 Mya, although the evolutionary dynamics of their coding and noncoding genes have not yet been scrutinized. Here, we analyzed the genomes of four Cucurbita species, including the novel genome assembly of Cucurbita argyrosperma, and compared their gene contents with five other members of the Cucurbitaceae family to assess the evolutionary dynamics of protein-coding and long intergenic noncoding RNA (lincRNA) genes after the genome duplication. We report a higher rate of protein-coding gene birth-death rate in the Cucurbita genomes compared to the rest of the Cucurbitaceae family. The genome of C. argyrosperma presented significantly faster evolutionary rates in gene families associated with aspects of pollination and transmembrane transport. LincRNA families showed high levels of gene turnover throughout the phylogeny, and 67.7% of the lincRNA families in Cucurbita show evidence of birth from the neofunctionalization of previously existing protein-coding genes. Our results suggest that the whole-genome duplication in Cucurbita resulted in faster rates of gene family evolution through the neofunctionalization of duplicated genes.