July 19, 2019  |  

The mitochondrial genome map of Nelumbo nucifera reveals ancient evolutionary features.

Nelumbo nucifera is an evolutionary relic from the Late Cretaceous period. Sequencing the N. nucifera mitochondrial genome is important for elucidating the evolutionary characteristics of basal eudicots. Here, the N. nucifera mitochondrial genome was sequenced using single molecule real-time sequencing technology (SMRT), and the mitochondrial genome map was constructed after de novo assembly and annotation. The results showed that the 524,797-bp N. nucifera mitochondrial genome has a total of 63 genes, including 40 protein-coding genes, three rRNA genes and 20 tRNA genes. Fifteen collinear gene clusters were conserved across different plant species. Approximately 700 RNA editing sites in the protein-coding genes were identified. Positively selected genes were identified with selection pressure analysis. Nineteen chloroplast-derived fragments were identified, and seven tRNAs were derived from the chloroplast. These results suggest that the N. nucifera mitochondrial genome retains evolutionarily conserved characteristics, including ancient gene content and gene clusters, high levels of RNA editing, and low levels of chloroplast-derived fragment insertions. As the first publicly available basal eudicot mitochondrial genome, the N. nucifera mitochondrial genome facilitates further analysis of the characteristics of basal eudicots and provides clues of the evolutionary trajectory from basal angiosperms to advanced eudicots.


July 7, 2019  |  

The draft genome of Primula veris yields insights into the molecular basis of heterostyly.

The flowering plant Primula veris is a common spring blooming perennial that is widely cultivated throughout Europe. This species is an established model system in the study of the genetics, evolution, and ecology of heterostylous floral polymorphisms. Despite the long history of research focused on this and related species, the continued development of this system has been restricted due the absence of genomic and transcriptomic resources.We present here a de novo draft genome assembly of P. veris covering 301.8 Mb, or approximately 63% of the estimated 479.22 Mb genome, with an N50 contig size of 9.5 Kb, an N50 scaffold size of 164 Kb, and containing an estimated 19,507 genes. The results of a RADseq bulk segregant analysis allow for the confident identification of four genome scaffolds that are linked to the P. veris S-locus. RNAseq data from both P. veris and the closely related species P. vulgaris allow for the characterization of 113 candidate heterostyly genes that show significant floral morph-specific differential expression. One candidate gene of particular interest is a duplicated GLOBOSA homolog that may be unique to Primula (PveGLO2), and is completely silenced in L-morph flowers.The P. veris genome represents the first genome assembled from a heterostylous species, and thus provides an immensely important resource for future studies focused on the evolution and genetic dissection of heterostyly. As the first genome assembled from the Primulaceae, the P. veris genome will also facilitate the expanded application of phylogenomic methods in this diverse family and the eudicots as a whole.


July 7, 2019  |  

Complete sequences of organelle genomes from the medicinal plant Rhazya stricta (Apocynaceae) and contrasting patterns of mitochondrial genome evolution across asterids.

Rhazya stricta is native to arid regions in South Asia and the Middle East and is used extensively in folk medicine to treat a wide range of diseases. In addition to generating genomic resources for this medicinally important plant, analyses of the complete plastid and mitochondrial genomes and a nuclear transcriptome from Rhazya provide insights into inter-compartmental transfers between genomes and the patterns of evolution among eight asterid mitochondrial genomes.The 154,841 bp plastid genome is highly conserved with gene content and order identical to the ancestral organization of angiosperms. The 548,608 bp mitochondrial genome exhibits a number of phenomena including the presence of recombinogenic repeats that generate a multipartite organization, transferred DNA from the plastid and nuclear genomes, and bidirectional DNA transfers between the mitochondrion and the nucleus. The mitochondrial genes sdh3 and rps14 have been transferred to the nucleus and have acquired targeting presequences. In the case of rps14, two copies are present in the nucleus; only one has a mitochondrial targeting presequence and may be functional. Phylogenetic analyses of both nuclear and mitochondrial copies of rps14 across angiosperms suggests Rhazya has experienced a single transfer of this gene to the nucleus, followed by a duplication event. Furthermore, the phylogenetic distribution of gene losses and the high level of sequence divergence in targeting presequences suggest multiple, independent transfers of both sdh3 and rps14 across asterids. Comparative analyses of mitochondrial genomes of eight sequenced asterids indicates a complicated evolutionary history in this large angiosperm clade with considerable diversity in genome organization and size, repeat, gene and intron content, and amount of foreign DNA from the plastid and nuclear genomes.Organelle genomes of Rhazya stricta provide valuable information for improving the understanding of mitochondrial genome evolution among angiosperms. The genomic data have enabled a rigorous examination of the gene transfer events. Rhazya is unique among the eight sequenced asterids in the types of events that have shaped the evolution of its mitochondrial genome. Furthermore, the organelle genomes of R. stricta provide valuable genomic resources for utilizing this important medicinal plant in biotechnology applications.


July 7, 2019  |  

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of tung tree (Vernicia fordii): Organization and phylogenetic relationships with other angiosperms.

Tung tree (Vernicia fordii) is an economically important tree widely cultivated for industrial oil production in China. To better understand the molecular basis of tung tree chloroplasts, we sequenced and characterized its genome using PacBio RS II sequencing platforms. The chloroplast genome was sequenced with 161,528?bp in length, composed with one pair of inverted repeats (IRs) of 26,819?bp, which were separated by one small single copy (SSC; 18,758?bp) and one large single copy (LSC; 89,132?bp). The genome contains 114 genes, coding for 81 protein, four ribosomal RNAs and 29 transfer RNAs. An expansion with integration of an additional rps19 gene in the IR regions was identified. Compared to the chloroplast genome of Jatropha curcas, a species from the same family, the tung tree chloroplast genome is distinct with 85 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 82 indels. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that V. fordii is a sister species with J. curcas within the Eurosids I. The nucleotide sequence provides vital molecular information for understanding the biology of this important oil tree.


July 7, 2019  |  

Coevolution between Nuclear-encoded DNA replication, recombination, and repair genes and plastid genome complexity.

Disruption of DNA replication, recombination, and repair (DNA-RRR) systems has been hypothesized to cause highly elevated nucleotide substitution rates and genome rearrangements in the plastids of angiosperms, but this theory remains untested. To investigate nuclear-plastid genome (plastome) coevolution in Geraniaceae, four different measures of plastome complexity (rearrangements, repeats, nucleotide insertions/deletions, and substitution rates) were evaluated along with substitution rates of 12 nuclear-encoded, plastid-targeted DNA-RRR genes from 27 Geraniales species. Significant correlations were detected for nonsynonymous (dN) but not synonymous (dS) substitution rates for three DNA-RRR genes (uvrB/C, why1, and gyrA) supporting a role for these genes in accelerated plastid genome evolution in Geraniaceae. Furthermore, correlation between dN of uvrB/C and plastome complexity suggests the presence of nucleotide excision repair system in plastids. Significant correlations were also detected between plastome complexity and 13 of the 90 nuclear-encoded organelle-targeted genes investigated. Comparisons revealed significant acceleration of dN in plastid-targeted genes of Geraniales relative to Brassicales suggesting this correlation may be an artifact of elevated rates in this gene set in Geraniaceae. Correlation between dN of plastid-targeted DNA-RRR genes and plastome complexity supports the hypothesis that the aberrant patterns in angiosperm plastome evolution could be caused by dysfunction in DNA-RRR systems.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Variable presence of the inverted repeat and plastome stability in Erodium.

Several unrelated lineages such as plastids, viruses and plasmids, have converged on quadripartite genomes of similar size with large and small single copy regions and a large inverted repeat (IR). Except for Erodium (Geraniaceae), saguaro cactus and some legumes, the plastomes of all photosynthetic angiosperms display this structure. The functional significance of the IR is not understood and Erodium provides a system to examine the role of the IR in the long-term stability of these genomes. We compared the degree of genomic rearrangement in plastomes of Erodium that differ in the presence and absence of the IR.We sequenced 17 new Erodium plastomes. Using 454, Illumina, PacBio and Sanger sequences, 16 genomes were assembled and categorized along with one incomplete and two previously published Erodium plastomes. We conducted phylogenetic analyses among these species using a dataset of 19 protein-coding genes and determined if significantly higher evolutionary rates had caused the long branch seen previously in phylogenetic reconstructions within the genus. Bioinformatic comparisons were also performed to evaluate plastome evolution across the genus.Erodium plastomes fell into four types (Type 1-4) that differ in their substitution rates, short dispersed repeat content and degree of genomic rearrangement, gene and intron content and GC content. Type 4 plastomes had significantly higher rates of synonymous substitutions (dS) for all genes and for 14 of the 19 genes non-synonymous substitutions (dN) were significantly accelerated. We evaluated the evidence for a single IR loss in Erodium and in doing so discovered that Type 4 plastomes contain a novel IR.The presence or absence of the IR does not affect plastome stability in Erodium. Rather, the overall repeat content shows a negative correlation with genome stability, a pattern in agreement with other angiosperm groups and recent findings on genome stability in bacterial endosymbionts.© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


July 7, 2019  |  

The sequenced angiosperm genomes and genome databases.

Angiosperms, the flowering plants, provide the essential resources for human life, such as food, energy, oxygen, and materials. They also promoted the evolution of human, animals, and the planet earth. Despite the numerous advances in genome reports or sequencing technologies, no review covers all the released angiosperm genomes and the genome databases for data sharing. Based on the rapid advances and innovations in the database reconstruction in the last few years, here we provide a comprehensive review for three major types of angiosperm genome databases, including databases for a single species, for a specific angiosperm clade, and for multiple angiosperm species. The scope, tools, and data of each type of databases and their features are concisely discussed. The genome databases for a single species or a clade of species are especially popular for specific group of researchers, while a timely-updated comprehensive database is more powerful for address of major scientific mysteries at the genome scale. Considering the low coverage of flowering plants in any available database, we propose construction of a comprehensive database to facilitate large-scale comparative studies of angiosperm genomes and to promote the collaborative studies of important questions in plant biology.


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