The genome project of Quercus aquifolioides, an endemic alpine oak from China, began in November 2017. This project was conducted by Prof. Fang Du in Beijing Forestry University and supported by National Science Foundation of China (grant 41201051; 41671039; 42071060) to FD.

Q.aquifolioides, is endemic but widely distributed in the Himalaya–Hengduanshan biodiversity hotspot, and it occurs at the highest elevations, reaching the tree line in some areas. The species displays extreme environmental adaptations, including tolerance to cold dry environments, at an elevation ranging from 1,900 to 4,600 m a.s.l. Because of Q. aquifolioides widespread distribution and large ecological amplitude, its genome may provide useful insights into the genetic makeup and molecular mechanism behind the adaptation to high altitude environments.

Using a combination of Nanopore ultra-long, RNA-seq and Hi-C libraries, we released a high-quality genome assembly with a size of 1.148 Gb and 26,441 identified genes. The data from this project are freely accessible, and we hope that they will provide a valuable genomic resource to the oak research community worldwide.