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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Nov 25;105(47):18424-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806759105. Epub 2008 Nov 14.

Genome-wide analyses of Geraniaceae plastid DNA reveal unprecedented patterns of increased nucleotide substitutions.

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1
Section of Integrative Biology and Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Texas, Austin TX 78712, USA. mary.guisinger@mail.utexas.edu

Abstract

Angiosperm plastid genomes are generally conserved in gene content and order with rates of nucleotide substitutions for protein-coding genes lower than for nuclear protein-coding genes. A few groups have experienced genomic change, and extreme changes in gene content and order are found within the flowering plant family Geraniaceae. The complete plastid genome sequence of Pelargonium X hortorum (Geraniaceae) reveals the largest and most rearranged plastid genome identified to date. Highly elevated rates of sequence evolution in Geraniaceae mitochondrial genomes have been reported, but rates in Geraniaceae plastid genomes have not been characterized. Analysis of nucleotide substitution rates for 72 plastid genes for 47 angiosperm taxa, including nine Geraniaceae, show that values of dN are highly accelerated in ribosomal protein and RNA polymerase genes throughout the family. Furthermore, dN/dS is significantly elevated in the same two classes of plastid genes as well as in ATPase genes. A relatively high dN/dS ratio could be interpreted as evidence of two phenomena, namely positive or relaxed selection, neither of which is consistent with our current understanding of plastid genome evolution in photosynthetic plants. These analyses are the first to use protein-coding sequences from complete plastid genomes to characterize rates and patterns of sequence evolution for a broad sampling of photosynthetic angiosperms, and they reveal unprecedented accumulation of nucleotide substitutions in Geraniaceae. To explain these remarkable substitution patterns in the highly rearranged Geraniaceae plastid genomes, we propose a model of aberrant DNA repair coupled with altered gene expression.

PMID:
19011103
PMCID:
PMC2587588
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0806759105
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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