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.
Journal: Genome biology and evolution