Numerous variations are known to occur in the chloroplast genomes of parasitic plants. We determined the complete chloroplast genome sequences of two hemiparasitic species, Taxillus chinensis and T. sutchuenensis, using Illumina and PacBio sequencing technologies. These species are the first members of the family Loranthaceae to be sequenced. The complete chloroplast genomes of T. chinensis and T. sutchuenensis comprise circular 121,363 and 122,562 bp-long molecules with quadripartite structures, respectively. Compared with the chloroplast genomes of Nicotiana tabacum and Osyris alba, all ndh genes as well as three ribosomal protein genes, seven tRNA genes, four ycf genes, and the infA gene of these two species have been lost. The results of the maximum likelihood and neighbor-joining phylogenetic trees strongly support the theory that Loranthaceae and Viscaceae are monophyletic clades. This research reveals the effect of a parasitic lifestyle on the chloroplast structure and genome content of T. chinensis and T. sutchuenensis, and enhances our understanding of the discrepancies in terms of assembly results between Illumina and PacBio.
Journal: Scientific reports