Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Evol. 2002 Nov;55(5):501-8.

Nucleotide substitution rates in legume chloroplast DNA depend on the presence of the inverted repeat.

Author information

Department of Genetics, Smurfit Institute, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.


The chloroplast genomes of some species of legumes lack the large inverted repeat (IR) that is a trademark of most land-plant chloroplasts. Our analysis of chloroplast genes in legume species that have an IR shows that the synonymous (silent) substitution rate in IR genes is 2.3-fold lower than in single-copy (SC) genes, which is largely in agreement with earlier findings. Given that all genes in species that lack the IR are single-copy, what level of synonymous substitution exists in these genes? We report a uniform substitution rate in IR-less genomes, and moreover, we find this rate to be at the level otherwise reserved for SC genes. In other words, the synonymous substitution rate has accelerated in the remaining copy of the duplicate region. We propose that this acceleration is a direct result of the decrease in the copy number of the sequence, rather than an intrinsic property of the genes normally located in the IR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center