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Plant Sci. 2012 Jul;190:62-73. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2012.04.001. Epub 2012 Apr 7.

The comparative chloroplast genomic analysis of photosynthetic orchids and developing DNA markers to distinguish Phalaenopsis orchids.

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Institute of Biotechnology, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan.


The chloroplast genome of Phalaenopsis equestris was determined and compared to those of Phalaenopsis aphrodite and Oncidium Gower Ramsey in Orchidaceae. The chloroplast genome of P. equestris is 148,959 bp, and a pair of inverted repeats (25,846 bp) separates the genome into large single-copy (85,967 bp) and small single-copy (11,300 bp) regions. The genome encodes 109 genes, including 4 rRNA, 30 tRNA and 75 protein-coding genes, but loses four ndh genes (ndhA, E, F and H) and seven other ndh genes are pseudogenes. The rate of inter-species variation between the two moth orchids was 0.74% (1107 sites) for single nucleotide substitution and 0.24% for insertions (161 sites; 1388 bp) and deletions (189 sites; 1393 bp). The IR regions have a lower rate of nucleotide substitution (3.5-5.8-fold) and indels (4.3-7.1-fold) than single-copy regions. The intergenic spacers are the most divergent, and based on the length variation of the three intergenic spacers, 11 native Phalaenopsis orchids could be successfully distinguished. The coding genes, IR junction and RNA editing sites are relatively more conserved between the two moth orchids than between those of Phalaenopsis and Oncidium spp.

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