An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the orchid
Apostasia shenzhenica, an orchid type found in Southeast China. The
researchers used 10x genomics scaffolding to conduct both short and
long-read sequencing to develop a genome sequence of the plant. They also
used the results of their work to compare the plant with other orchids in
order to isolate parts that were the same versus those that were different
using transcriptome data.
The research team found that A. shenzhenica belongs to the family of
orchids, and that large parts of the genome were virtual copies of those of
other orchid types. They also found that it split off from other orchids
millions of years ago, close to the time when orchids first came to exist.
It was also found that orchids underwent a major extinction period after
which the plants differentiated and subsequently evolved into five
subfamilies. The researchers suggest that it was during this period that
features such as the famous "lip" developed.