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PeerJ. 2017 May 17;5:e3325. doi: 10.7717/peerj.3325. eCollection 2017.

Plastomes of the green algae Hydrodictyon reticulatum and Pediastrum duplex (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyceae).

Author information

Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY, United States of America.
Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Program for Molecular Systematics Studies, The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY, United States of America.
Contributed equally



Comparative studies of chloroplast genomes (plastomes) across the Chlorophyceae are revealing dynamic patterns of size variation, gene content, and genome rearrangements. Phylogenomic analyses are improving resolution of relationships, and uncovering novel lineages as new plastomes continue to be characterized. To gain further insight into the evolution of the chlorophyte plastome and increase the number of representative plastomes for the Sphaeropleales, this study presents two fully sequenced plastomes from the green algal family Hydrodictyaceae (Sphaeropleales, Chlorophyceae), one from Hydrodictyon reticulatum and the other from Pediastrum duplex.


Genomic DNA from Hydrodictyon reticulatum and Pediastrum duplex was subjected to Illumina paired-end sequencing and the complete plastomes were assembled for each. Plastome size and gene content were characterized and compared with other plastomes from the Sphaeropleales. Homology searches using BLASTX were used to characterize introns and open reading frames (orfs) ≥ 300 bp. A phylogenetic analysis of gene order across the Sphaeropleales was performed.


The plastome of Hydrodictyon reticulatum is 225,641 bp and Pediastrum duplex is 232,554 bp. The plastome structure and gene order of H. reticulatum and P. duplex are more similar to each other than to other members of the Sphaeropleales. Numerous unique open reading frames are found in both plastomes and the plastome of P. duplex contains putative viral protein genes, not found in other Sphaeropleales plastomes. Gene order analyses support the monophyly of the Hydrodictyaceae and their sister relationship to the Neochloridaceae.


The complete plastomes of Hydrodictyon reticulatum and Pediastrum duplex, representing the largest of the Sphaeropleales sequenced thus far, once again highlight the variability in size, architecture, gene order and content across the Chlorophyceae. Novel intron insertion sites and unique orfs indicate recent, independent invasions into each plastome, a hypothesis testable with an expanded plastome investigation within the Hydrodictyaceae.


Chlorophyceae; Chloroplast genome; Green algae; Hydrodictyaceae; Hydrodictyon; Open reading frames; Pediastrum; Plastome evolution; Sphaeropleales

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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