Understanding the processes that regulate plant sink formation and development at the molecular level will contribute to the areas of crop breeding, food production and plant evolutionary studies. We report the annotation and analysis of the draft genome sequence of the radish Raphanus sativus var. hortensis (long and thick root radish) and transcriptome analysis during root development. Based on the hybrid assembly approach of next-generation sequencing, a total of 383 Mb (N50 scaffold: 138.17 kb) of sequences of the radish genome was constructed containing 54,357 genes. Syntenic and phylogenetic analyses indicated that divergence between Raphanus and Brassica coincide with the time of whole genome triplication (WGT), suggesting that WGT triggered diversification of Brassiceae crop plants. Further transcriptome analysis showed that the gene functions and pathways related to carbohydrate metabolism were prominently activated in thickening roots, particularly in cell proliferating tissues. Notably, the expression levels of sucrose synthase 1 (SUS1) were correlated with root thickening rates. We also identified the genes involved in pungency synthesis and their transcription factors.
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