Biology Faculty Articles


Hélène Badouin, Université de Toulouse
Jérôme Gouzy, Université de Toulouse
Christopher Grassa, Université de Toulouse
Florent Murat, INRA, France
S. Evan Staton, University of British Columbia
Ludovic Cottret, Université de Toulouse
Christine Lelandais-Brière, Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay
Gregory Owens, University of British Columbia
Sébastien Carrère, Université de Toulouse
Baptiste Mayjonade, Université de Toulouse
Ludovic Legrand, Université de Toulouse
Navdeep Gill, University of British ColumbiaFollow
Nolan Kane, University of Colorado
John Bowers, University of Georgia
Sariel Hubner, University of British Columbia
Arnaud Bellec, INRA, France
Aurélie Bérard, INRA, France
Hélène Bergès, INRA, France
Nicolas Blanchet, Université de Toulouse
Marie-Claude Boniface, Université de Toulouse
Dominique Brunel, INRA, France
Olivier Catrice, Université de Toulouse
Nadia Chaidir, University of British Columbia
Clotilde Claudel, Biogemma
Cécile Donnadieu, INRA, France
Thomas Faraut, INRA, France
Ghislain Fievet, Université de Toulouse
Nicolas Helmstetter, INRA, France
Matthew King, University of British Columbia
Steven Knapp, University of California
Zhao Lai, Indiana University
Marie-Christine Le Paslier, INRA, France
Yannick Lippi, Université de Toulouse
Lolita Lorenzon, Université de Toulouse
Jennifer Mandel, University of Memphis
Gwenola Marage, Université de Toulouse
Gwenaëlle Marchand, Université de Toulouse
Elodie Marquand, INRA, France
Emmanuelle Bret-Mestries, Terres Inovia
Evan Morien, University of British Columbia
Savithri Nambeesan, University of Georgia
Thuy Nguyen, University of British Columbia
Prune Pegot-Espagnet, Université de Toulouse
Nicolas Pouilly, Université de Toulouse
Frances Raftis, University of British Columbia
Erika Sallet, Université de Toulouse
Thomas Schiex, Université de Toulouse
Justine Thomas, Université de Toulouse
Céline Vandecasteele, INRA, France
Didier Varès, Université de Toulouse
Felicity Vear, INRA, France
Sonia Vautrin, INRA, France
Martin Crespi, Institute of Plant Sciences Paris-Saclay
Brigitte Mangin, Université de Toulouse
John Burke, Department of Plant Biology
Jérôme Salse, INRA, France
Stéphane Muños, Université de Toulouse
Patrick Vincourt, Université de Toulouse
Loren Rieseberg, University of British Columbia
Nicolas Langlade, Université de Toulouse

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title






First Page


Last Page



The domesticated sunflower, Helianthus annuus L., is a global oil crop that has promise for climate change adaptation, because it can maintain stable yields across a wide variety of environmental conditions, including drought1. Even greater resilience is achievable through the mining of resistance alleles from compatible wild sunflower relatives2,3, including numerous extremophile species4. Here we report a high-quality reference for the sunflower genome (3.6 gigabases), together with extensive transcriptomic data from vegetative and floral organs. The genome mostly consists of highly similar, related sequences5 and required single-molecule real-time sequencing technologies for successful assembly. Genome analyses enabled the reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the Asterids, further establishing the existence of a whole-genome triplication at the base of the Asterids II clade6 and a sunflower-specific whole-genome duplication around 29 million years ago7. An integrative approach combining quantitative genetics, expression and diversity data permitted development of comprehensive gene networks for two major breeding traits, flowering time and oil metabolism, and revealed new candidate genes in these networks. We found that the genomic architecture of flowering time has been shaped by the most recent whole-genome duplication, which suggests that ancient paralogues can remain in the same regulatory networks for dozens of millions of years. This genome represents a cornerstone for future research programs aiming to exploit genetic diversity to improve biotic and abiotic stress resistance and oil production, while also considering agricultural constraints and human nutritional needs8,9.


Open Access.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons licence, users will need to obtain permission from the licence holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this licence, visit

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.




Peer Reviewed

Find in your library

Included in

Biology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.