Targeted sequence capture is a promising technology in many areas in biology. These methods enable efficient and relatively inexpensive sequencing of hundreds to thousands of genes or genomic regions from many more individuals than is practical using whole-genome sequencing approaches. Here, we demonstrate the feasibility of target enrichment using sequence capture in polyploid cotton. To capture and sequence both members of each gene pair (homeologs) of wild and domesticated Gossypium hirsutum, we created custom hybridization probes to target 1000 genes (500 pairs of homeologs) using information from the cotton transcriptome. Two widely divergent samples of G. hirsutum were hybridized to four custom NimbleGen capture arrays containing probes for targeted genes. We show that the two coresident homeologs in the allopolyploid nucleus were efficiently captured with high coverage. The capture efficiency was similar between the two accessions and independent of whether the samples were multiplexed. A significant amount of flanking, nontargeted sequence (untranslated regions and introns) was also captured and sequenced along with the targeted exons. Intraindividual heterozygosity is low in both wild and cultivated Upland cotton, as expected from the high level of inbreeding in natural G. hirsutum and bottlenecks accompanying domestication. In addition, levels of heterozygosity appeared asymmetrical with respect to genome (A(T) or D(T)) in cultivated cotton. The approach used here is general, scalable, and may be adapted for many different research inquiries involving polyploid plant genomes.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jonathan_wendel/55/