Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2002 Jul;24(1):1-9.

Codon adaptation and synonymous substitution rate in diatom plastid genes.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Barnard College, Columbia University, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027, USA.


Diatom plastid genes are examined with respect to codon adaptation and rates of silent substitution (Ks). It is shown that diatom genes follow the same pattern of codon usage as other plastid genes studied previously. Highly expressed diatom genes display codon adaptation, or a bias toward specific major codons, and these major codons are the same as those in red algae, green algae, and land plants. It is also found that there is a strong correlation between Ks and variation in codon adaptation across diatom genes, providing the first evidence for such a relationship in the algae. It is argued that this finding supports the notion that the correlation arises from selective constraints, not from variation in mutation rate among genes. Finally, the diatom genes are examined with respect to variation in Ks among different synonymous groups. Diatom genes with strong codon adaptation do not show the same variation in synonymous substitution rate among codon groups as the flowering plant psbA gene which, previous studies have shown, has strong codon adaptation but unusually high rates of silent change in certain synonymous groups. The lack of a similar finding in diatoms supports the suggestion that the feature is unique to the flowering plant psbA due to recent relaxations in selective pressure in that lineage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center