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PLoS One. 2019 Sep 18;14(9):e0221827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221827. eCollection 2019.

Evolutionary analysis of six chloroplast genomes from three Persea americana ecological races: Insights into sequence divergences and phylogenetic relationships.

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Haikou Experimental Station, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Haikou, China.
College of Agriculture, Yunnan University, Yunnan, China.
College of Agriculture, Guangxi Vocational and Technical College, Nanning, China.
South Subtropical Crops Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, Zhanjiang, China.


Chloroplasts significantly influence species phylogenies because of their maternal inheritance and the moderate evolutionary rate of their genomes. Avocado, which is a member of the family Lauraceae, has received considerable attention from botanists, likely because of its position as a basal angiosperm. However, there is relatively little avocado genomic information currently available. In this study, six complete avocado chloroplast genomes from three ecological races were assembled to examine the sequence diversity among the three avocado ecological races. A comparative genomic analysis revealed that 515 simple sequence repeat loci and 176 repeats belonging to four other types were polymorphic across the six chloroplast genomes. Three highly variable regions (trnC-GCA-petN, petN-psbM, and petA-psbJ) were identified as highly informative markers. A phylogenetic analysis based on 79 common protein-coding genes indicated that the six examined avocado accessions from three ecological races form a monophyletic clade. The other three genera belonging to the Persea group clustered to form a sister clade with a high bootstrap value. These chloroplast genomes provide important genetic information for future attempts at identifying avocado races and for the related biological research.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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