April 21, 2020  |  

Lycophyte plastid genomics: extreme variation in GC, gene and intron content and multiple inversions between a direct and inverted orientation of the rRNA repeat.

Lycophytes are a key group for understanding vascular plant evolution. Lycophyte plastomes are highly distinct, indicating a dynamic evolutionary history, but detailed evaluation is hindered by the limited availability of sequences. Eight diverse plastomes were sequenced to assess variation in structure and functional content across lycophytes. Lycopodiaceae plastomes have remained largely unchanged compared with the common ancestor of land plants, whereas plastome evolution in Isoetes and especially Selaginella is highly dynamic. Selaginella plastomes have the highest GC content and fewest genes and introns of any photosynthetic land plant. Uniquely, the canonical inverted repeat was converted into a direct repeat (DR) via large-scale inversion in some Selaginella species. Ancestral reconstruction identified additional putative transitions between an inverted and DR orientation in Selaginella and Isoetes plastomes. A DR orientation does not disrupt the activity of copy-dependent repair to suppress substitution rates within repeats. Lycophyte plastomes include the most archaic examples among vascular plants and the most reconfigured among land plants. These evolutionary trends correlate with the mitochondrial genome, suggesting shared underlying mechanisms. Copy-dependent repair for DR-localized genes indicates that recombination and gene conversion are not inhibited by the DR orientation. Gene relocation in lycophyte plastomes occurs via overlapping inversions rather than transposase/recombinase-mediated processes. © 2018 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2018 New Phytologist Trust.


July 7, 2019  |  

Organellar genomes of white spruce (Picea glauca): assembly and annotation.

The genome sequences of the plastid and mitochondrion of white spruce (Picea glauca) were assembled from whole-genome shotgun sequencing data using ABySS. The sequencing data contained reads from both the nuclear and organellar genomes, and reads of the organellar genomes were abundant in the data as each cell harbors hundreds of mitochondria and plastids. Hence, assembly of the 123-kb plastid and 5.9-Mb mitochondrial genomes were accomplished by analyzing data sets primarily representing low coverage of the nuclear genome. The assembled organellar genomes were annotated for their coding genes, ribosomal RNA, and transfer RNA. Transcript abundances of the mitochondrial genes were quantified in three developmental tissues and five mature tissues using data from RNA-seq experiments. C-to-U RNA editing was observed in the majority of mitochondrial genes, and in four genes, editing events were noted to modify ACG codons to create cryptic AUG start codons. The informatics methodology presented in this study should prove useful to assemble organellar genomes of other plant species using whole-genome shotgun sequencing data. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.


July 7, 2019  |  

Strategies for complete plastid genome sequencing.

Plastid sequencing is an essential tool in the study of plant evolution. This high-copy organelle is one of the most technically accessible regions of the genome, and its sequence conservation makes it a valuable region for comparative genome evolution, phylogenetic analysis and population studies. Here, we discuss recent innovations and approaches for de novo plastid assembly that harness genomic tools. We focus on technical developments including low-cost sequence library preparation approaches for genome skimming, enrichment via hybrid baits and methylation-sensitive capture, sequence platforms with higher read outputs and longer read lengths, and automated tools for assembly. These developments allow for a much more streamlined assembly than via conventional short-range PCR. Although newer methods make complete plastid sequencing possible for any land plant or green alga, there are still challenges for producing finished plastomes particularly from herbarium material or from structurally divergent plastids such as those of parasitic plants.© 2016 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Resources Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


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  |  

Recombination-dependent replication and gene conversion homogenize repeat sequences and diversify plastid genome structure

There is a misinterpretation in the literature regarding the variable orientation of the small single copy region of plastid genomes (plastomes). The common phenomenon of small and large single copy inversion, hypothesized to occur through intramolecular recombination between inverted repeats (IR) in a circular, single unit-genome, in fact, more likely occurs through recombination-dependent replication (RDR) of linear plastome templates. If RDR can be primed through both intra- and intermolecular recombination, then this mechanism could not only create inversion isomers of so-called single copy regions, but also an array of alternative sequence arrangements.We used Illumina paired-end and PacBio single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequences to characterize repeat structure in the plastome of Monsonia emarginata (Geraniaceae). We used OrgConv and inspected nucleotide alignments to infer ancestral nucleotides and identify gene conversion among repeats and mapped long (>1 kb) SMRT reads against the unit-genome assembly to identify alternative sequence arrangements.Although M. emarginata lacks the canonical IR, we found that large repeats (>1 kilobase; kb) represent ~22% of the plastome nucleotide content. Among the largest repeats (>2 kb), we identified GC-biased gene conversion and mapping filtered, long SMRT reads to the M. emarginata unit-genome assembly revealed alternative, substoichiometric sequence arrangements.We offer a model based on RDR and gene conversion between long repeated sequences in the M. emarginata plastome and provide support that both intra-and intermolecular recombination between large repeats, particularly in repeat-rich plastomes, varies unit-genome structure while homogenizing the nucleotide sequence of repeats.© 2017 Botanical Society of America.


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.


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