Researchers led by Stacey Smith, a professor at the University of
Colorado-Boulder have sequenced the genomeof/Iochroma cyaneum/, a wild
shrub in the tomatillo tribe of the tomato family.
After sequencing the/Iochroma/genome and assembling the sequences into
chromosomes, Smith's team compared it to other members of the family.
The broader tomato family has almost 3,000 species. Forty species have
been domesticated, which include potatoes, eggplants, and hot peppers,
in addition to tomatoes. All of these plants belong to the family and
are also called ‚??nightshades.‚?Ě The genome revealed that/Iochroma/was
part of the family known as the ‚??berry clade,‚?Ě a subgroup of ‚??berries‚?Ě
which are juicy fruits with many seeds, like tomatoes and hot peppers.
The new genome provides a new look into the evolution of the family. One
clue is how the genes have moved around as the species
evolved./Iochroma/offered up a surprise as its genome shuffling did not
closely resemble any other sequenced genome, meaning the shrub has had
its own unique evolutionary path.