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.
Journal: Molecular ecology resources