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April 1, 2019

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)…

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September 1, 2017

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…

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May 12, 2017

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…

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April 1, 2017

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)…

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February 17, 2016

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…

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December 8, 2015

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…

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