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J Phycol. 2017 Apr;53(2):415-424. doi: 10.1111/jpy.12515. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Comparative DNA sequence analyses of Pyramimonas parkeae (Prasinophyceae) chloroplast genomes.

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Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 430 Lincoln Drive, Madison, Wisconsin, USA.


Prasinophytes form a paraphyletic assemblage of early diverging green algae, which have the potential to reveal the traits of the last common ancestor of the main two green lineages: (i) chlorophyte algae and (ii) streptophyte algae. Understanding the genetic composition of prasinophyte algae is fundamental to understanding the diversification and evolutionary processes that may have occurred in both green lineages. In this study, we sequenced the chloroplast genome of Pyramimonas parkeae NIES254 and compared it with that of P. parkeae CCMP726, the only other fully sequenced P. parkeae chloroplast genome. The results revealed that P. parkeae chloroplast genomes are surprisingly variable. The chloroplast genome of NIES254 was larger than that of CCMP726 by 3,204 bp, the NIES254 large single copy was 288 bp longer, the small single copy was 5,088 bp longer, and the IR was 1,086 bp shorter than that of CCMP726. Similarity values of the two strains were almost zero in four large hot spot regions. Finally, the strains differed in copy number for three protein-coding genes: ycf20, psaC, and ndhE. Phylogenetic analyses using 16S and 18S rDNA and rbcL sequences resolved a clade consisting of these two P. parkeae strains and a clade consisting of these plus other Pyramimonas isolates. These results are consistent with past studies indicating that prasinophyte chloroplast genomes display a higher level of variation than is commonly found among land plants. Consequently, prasinophyte chloroplast genomes may be less useful for inferring the early history of Viridiplantae than has been the case for land plant diversification.


Pyramimonas parkeae ; chloroplast DNA variation; chloroplast genome; intraspecific variation; prasinophyte

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