Raspberries are small red berries with a rich red colour and a sweet juicy taste. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and thus are healthy as well as delicious. Red raspberry (R. idaeus subsp. idaeus L.) is an economically-important member of the genus Rubus, part of the Rosaceae family. Although red raspberries are closely related to other important crops such as strawberry, apple and rose, the method by which the fruits develop as aggregates of individual drupes in the genus Rubus, rather than as true fruits, is unique in the Rosaceae family.
The red raspberry industry has grown enormously over the past 20 years and currently over 800,000 tonnes of raspberries are produced globally per annum, with a production price in excess of US $3.5 billion. As such, there is a significant breeding effort worldwide, which is hampered by the out-crossing, highly heterozygous nature of the genome, and severe inbreeding depression in the species. Breeding new varieties of red raspberry follows processes that have remained largely unchanged for decades, and the adoption of molecular markers in red raspberry breeding has been slower than for related species such as strawberry.
Selection for traits such as summer and autumn fruiting, thornlessness and fruit flavour will benefit significantly from the development of molecular markers, and enhanced knowledge of the genome of red raspberry will hasten their development. Comparative genome analysis to other sequenced Rosaceous species will facilitate the study of the complex evolution of fleshy fruits in the Rosaceae.
Today, we share the chromosome-length genome assembly for the Red raspberry (R. idaeus subsp. idaeus L.), generated using plants from Graminor Ltd. in Norway. Check the contact map for the new Red raspberry genome assembly below:
This is the third cane berry we've released on the DNAZoo, check out these blog posts on blackberry ‘Hillquist’ (R. argutus) and blackberry ‘Burbank Thornless’ (R. ulmifolius), by Margaret Worthington.