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Mol Genet Genomics. 2006 Apr;275(4):367-73. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

The chloroplast genome of Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana tomentosiformis: complete sequencing confirms that the Nicotiana sylvestris progenitor is the maternal genome donor of Nicotiana tabacum.

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Graduate School of Natural Sciences, Nagoya City University, 467-8501 Mizuho, Nagoya, Japan.


The tobacco cultivar Nicotiana tabacum is a natural amphidiploid that is thought to be derived from ancestors of Nicotiana sylvestris and Nicotiana tomentosiformis. To compare these chloroplast genomes, DNA was prepared from isolated chloroplasts from green leaves of N. sylvestris and N. tomentosiformis, and subjected to whole-genome shotgun sequencing. The N. sylvestris chloroplast genome comprises of 155,941 bp and shows identical gene organization with that of N. tabacum, except one ORF. Detailed comparison revealed only seven different sites between N. tabacum and N. sylvestris; three in introns, two in spacer regions and two in coding regions. The chloroplast DNA of N. tomentosiformis is 155,745 bp long and possesses also identical gene organization with that of N. tabacum, except four ORFs and one pseudogene. However, 1,194 sites differ between these two species. Compared with N. tabacum, the nucleotide substitution in the inverted repeat was much lower than that in the single-copy region. The present work confirms that the chloroplast genome from N. tabacum was derived from an ancestor of N. sylvestris, and suggests that the rate of nucleotide substitution of the chloroplast genomes from N. tabacum and N. sylvestris is very low.

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