RESULTS: Here, we present draft genome information for five agriculturally, biologically, medicinally, and economically important underutilized plants native to Africa: Vigna subterranea, Lablab purpureus, Faidherbia albida, Sclerocarya birrea, and Moringa oleifera. Assembled genomes range in size from 217 to 654 Mb. In V. subterranea, L. purpureus, F. albida, S. birrea, and M. oleifera, we have predicted 31,707, 20,946, 28,979, 18,937, and 18,451 protein-coding genes, respectively. By further analyzing the expansion and contraction of selected gene families, we have characterized root nodule symbiosis genes, transcription factors, and starch biosynthesis-related genes in these genomes.
CONCLUSIONS: These genome data will be useful to identify and characterize agronomically important genes and understand their modes of action, enabling genomics-based, evolutionary studies, and breeding strategies to design faster, more focused, and predictable crop improvement programs.