Fagus sylvatica (European Beech) genome resource

The European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) is the dominant climax tree species in Central Europe. It is a deciduous tree growing up to 50 m tall, planted widely throughout Europe for its valuable wood. The European Beech is found in the lowlands in Northern and Central Europe, but reaches up to more than 2000 m in the mountain ranges of Southern Europe. The European Beech is shade tolerant and shaded seedlings may hardly grow for decades until enough light becomes available, upon which they can grow up to 5 m per decade in their youth. European Beech can reach an age of more than 500 years and provide habitat for numerous fungi, insects and birds. The European Beech is wind pollinated, with male and female flowers appearing on the same individual before growing leaves in spring. The fruits of beech are the food of a variety of animals including various small to mid-sized mammals and are also edible to humans.

Here, the genome resource for the European Beech is provided. Bud samples of the sequenced specimen (Bhaga) were taken from a stand never managed in terms of forestry of the National Park Kellerwald Edersee, from an individual estimated to be more than 300 years old, to avoid influence from modern forestry. Genomic DNA was sequenced using SMRT and illumina sequencing. RNA samples from the same batch were used for transcriptome sequencing, both enriched for mRNA and ribosome-depleted RNA without mRNA pre-selection. The current version 1.2 represents a 542 megabase assembly with 62085 predicted gene models. A summary of the current assembly is given in the table below. 

Number of scaffolds 6451
Assembled Genome size 542.30 Mb
Longest scaffold 1.15 Mb
L50 count 983
N50 length 145.4 Kb
Number of predicted Gene models 62085
Total coding region 95.5 Mb

The searchable genome browser for the reference genome can be accessed here.

The genome assembly and gene annotations can be downloaded from here.
Raw data and assemblies are available at ENA with the project accession PRJEB24056.

The genome is reported at https://doi.org/10.1093/gigascience/giy063 , please contact Prof. Dr. Marco Thines (m.thines@thines-lab.eu or marco.thines@senckenberg.de) for any further information and/or collaboration.