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Genetics. 1985 Jan;109(1):195-213.

Chloroplast DNA variation and evolution in pisum: patterns of change and phylogenetic analysis.

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Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Plant Biology, Stanford, California 94305.


Variation in 30 chloroplast DNAs, representing 22 wild and cultivated accessions in the genus Pisum, was analyzed by comparing fragment patterns produced by 16 restriction endonucleases. Three types of mutations were detected. First, an inversion of between 2.2 kilobase pairs (kb) and 5.2 kb distinguished a population of P. humile from all other Pisum accessions examined. Second, deletions and insertions of between 50 and 1200 base pairs produced small restriction fragment length variations in four regions of the 120-kb chloroplast genome. Two of these regions-one of which is located within the sequence that is inverted in P. humile-showed a high degree of size polymorphism, to the extent that size differences were detected between individuals from the same accession. Finally, a total of only 11 restriction site mutations were detected among the 165 restriction sites sampled in the 30 DNAs. Based on these results and previous data, we conclude that the chloroplast genome is evolving very slowly relative to nuclear and mitochondrial DNAs. The Pisum chloroplast DNA restriction site mutations define two major lineages: One includes all tested accessions of P. fulvum, which is known to be cytogenetically quite distinct from all other Pisum taxa. The second includes 12 of 13 cultivated lines of the garden pea (P. sativum) and a wild population of P. humile from northern Israel. These observations strongly reinforce an earlier conclusion that the cultivated pea was domesticated primarily from northern populations of P. humile. A 13th P. sativum cultivar has a chloroplast genome that is significantly different from those of the aforementioned lines and somewhat more similar to those of P. elatius and southern populations of P. humile. This observation indicates that secondary hybridization may have occurred during the domestication of the garden pea.


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