An inferred fitness consequence map of the rice genome

Zoé Joly-Lopez, Adrian E. Platts, Brad Gulko, Jae Young Choi, Simon C. Groen, Xuehua Zhong, Adam Siepel, Michael D. Purugganan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The extent to which sequence variation impacts plant fitness is poorly understood. High-resolution maps detailing the constraint acting on the genome, especially in regulatory sites, would be beneficial as functional annotation of noncoding sequences remains sparse. Here, we present a fitness consequence (fitCons) map for rice (Oryza sativa). We inferred fitCons scores (ρ) for 246 inferred genome classes derived from nine functional genomic and epigenomic datasets, including chromatin accessibility, messenger RNA/small RNA transcription, DNA methylation, histone modifications and engaged RNA polymerase activity. These were integrated with genome-wide polymorphism and divergence data from 1,477 rice accessions and 11 reference genome sequences in the Oryzeae. We found ρ to be multimodal, with ~9% of the rice genome falling into classes where more than half of the bases would probably have a fitness consequence if mutated. Around 2% of the rice genome showed evidence of weak negative selection, frequently at candidate regulatory sites, including a novel set of 1,000 potentially active enhancer elements. This fitCons map provides perspective on the evolutionary forces associated with genome diversity, aids in genome annotation and can guide crop breeding programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-130
Number of pages12
JournalNature Plants
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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