Evolution of the rpoB-psbZ region in fern plastid genomes: notable structural rearrangements and highly variable intergenic spacers.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The rpoB-psbZ (BZ) region of some fern plastid genomes (plastomes) has been noted to go through considerable genomic changes. Unraveling its evolutionary dynamics across all fern lineages will lead to clarify the fundamental process shaping fern plastome structure and organization. RESULTS: A total of 24 fern BZ sequences were investigated with taxon sampling covering all the extant fern orders. We found that: (i) a tree fern Plagiogyria japonica contained a novel gene order that can be generated from either the ancestral Angiopteris type or the derived Adiantum type via a single inversion; (ii) the trnY-trnE intergenic spacer (IGS) of the filmy fern Vandenboschia radicans was expanded 3-fold due to the tandem 27-bp repeats which showed strong sequence similarity with the anticodon domain of trnY; (iii) the trnY-trnE IGSs of two horsetail ferns Equisetum ramosissimum and E. arvense underwent an unprecedented 5-kb long expansion, more than a quarter of which was consisted of a single type of direct repeats also relevant to the trnY anticodon domain; and (iv) ycf66 has independently lost at least four times in ferns. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provided fresh insights into the evolutionary process of fern BZ regions. The intermediate BZ gene order was not detected, supporting that the Adiantum type was generated by two inversions occurring in pairs. The occurrence of Vandenboschia 27-bp repeats represents the first evidence of partial tRNA gene duplication in fern plastomes. Repeats potentially forming a stem-loop structure play major roles in the expansion of the trnY-trnE IGS.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Ferns have generally been neglected in studies of chloroplast genomics. Before this study, only one polypod and two basal ferns had their complete chloroplast (cp) genome reported. Tree ferns represent an ancient fern lineage that first occurred in the Late Triassic. In recent phylogenetic analyses, tree ferns were shown to be the sister group of polypods, the most diverse group of living ferns. Availability of cp genome sequence from a tree fern will facilitate interpretation of the evolutionary changes of fern cp genomes. Here we have sequenced the complete cp genome of a scaly tree fern Alsophila spinulosa (Cyatheaceae). RESULTS: The Alsophila cp genome is 156,661 base pairs (bp) in size, and has a typical quadripartite structure with the large (LSC, 86,308 bp) and small single copy (SSC, 21,623 bp) regions separated by two copies of an inverted repeat (IRs, 24,365 bp each). This genome contains 117 different genes encoding 85 proteins, 4 rRNAs and 28 tRNAs. Pseudogenes of ycf66 and trnT-UGU are also detected in this genome. A unique trnR-UCG gene (derived from trnR-CCG) is found between rbcL and accD. The Alsophila cp genome shares some unusual characteristics with the previously sequenced cp genome of the polypod fern Adiantum capillus-veneris, including the absence of 5 tRNA genes that exist in most other cp genomes. The genome shows a high degree of synteny with that of Adiantum, but differs considerably from two basal ferns (Angiopteris evecta and Psilotum nudum). At one endpoint of an ancient inversion we detected a highly repeated 565-bp-region that is absent from the Adiantum cp genome. An additional minor inversion of the trnD-GUC, which is possibly shared by all ferns, was identified by comparison between the fern and other land plant cp genomes. CONCLUSION: By comparing four fern cp genome sequences it was confirmed that two major rearrangements distinguish higher leptosporangiate ferns from basal fern lineages. The Alsophila cp genome is very similar to that of the polypod fern Adiantum in terms of gene content, gene order and GC content. However, there exist some striking differences between them: the trnR-UCG gene represents a putative molecular apomorphy of tree ferns; and the repeats observed at one inversion endpoint may be a vestige of some unknown rearrangement(s). This work provided fresh insights into the fern cp genome evolution as well as useful data for future phylogenetic studies.
Project description:Comparative analyses of complete chloroplast (cp) DNA sequences within a species may provide clues to understand the population dynamics and colonization histories of plant species. Equisetum arvense (Equisetaceae) is a widely distributed fern species in northeastern Asia, Europe, and North America. The complete cp DNA sequences from Asian and American E. arvense individuals were compared in this study. The Asian E. arvense cp genome was 583 bp shorter than that of the American E. arvense. In total, 159 indels were observed between two individuals, most of which were concentrated on the hypervariable trnY-trnE intergenic spacer (IGS) in the large single-copy (LSC) region of the cp genome. This IGS region held a series of 19 bp repeating units. The numbers of the 19 bp repeat unit were responsible for 78% of the total length difference between the two cp genomes. Furthermore, only other closely related species of Equisetum also show the hypervariable nature of the trnY-trnE IGS. By contrast, only a single indel was observed in the gene coding regions: the ycf1 gene showed 24 bp differences between the two continental individuals due to a single tandem-repeat indel. A total of 165 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were recorded between the two cp genomes. Of these, 52 SNPs (31.5%) were distributed in coding regions, 13 SNPs (7.9%) were in introns, and 100 SNPs (60.6%) were in intergenic spacers (IGS). The overall difference between the Asian and American E. arvense cp genomes was 0.12%. Despite the relatively high genetic diversity between Asian and American E. arvense, the two populations are recognized as a single species based on their high morphological similarity. This indicated that the two regional populations have been in morphological stasis.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that core leptosporangiates, the most species-rich group of extant ferns (monilophytes), have a distinct plastid genome (plastome) organization pattern from basal fern lineages. However, the details of genome structure transformation from ancestral ferns to core leptosporangiates remain unclear because of limited plastome data available. Here, we have determined the complete chloroplast genome sequences of Lygodium japonicum (Lygodiaceae), a member of schizaeoid ferns (Schizaeales), and Marsilea crenata (Marsileaceae), a representative of heterosporous ferns (Salviniales). The two species represent the sister and the basal lineages of core leptosporangiates, respectively, for which the plastome sequences are currently unavailable. Comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced fern plastomes reveals that the gene order of L. japonicum plastome occupies an intermediate position between that of basal ferns and core leptosporangiates. The two exons of the fern ndhB gene have a unique pattern of intragenic copy number variances. Specifically, the substitution rate heterogeneity between the two exons is congruent with their copy number changes, confirming the constraint role that inverted repeats may play on the substitution rate of chloroplast gene sequences.
Project description:Although most plant species from algae to flowering plants use blue light for inducing phototropism and chloroplast movement, many ferns, some mosses, and green algae use red as well as blue light for the regulation of these responses, resulting in better sensitivity at low light levels. During their evolution, ferns have created a chimeric photoreceptor (phy3 in Adiantum) between phytochrome (phy) and phototropin (phot) enabling them to use red light effectively. We have identified two genes resembling Adiantum PHY3, NEOCHROME1 and NEOCHROME2 (MsNEO1 and MsNEO2), in the green alga Mougeotia scalaris, a plant famous for its light-regulated chloroplast movement. Like Adiantum PHY3, both MsNEO gene products show phytochrome-typical bilin binding and red/far-red reversibility, the difference spectra matching the known action spectra of light-induced chloroplast movement in Mougeotia. Furthermore, both genes rescue red-light-induced chloroplast movement in Adiantum phy3 mutants, indicating functional equivalence. However, the fern and algal genes seem to have arisen independently in evolution, thus providing an intriguing example of convergent evolution.
Project description:DNA barcoding is a fast-developing technique to identify species by using short and standard DNA sequences. Universal selection of DNA barcodes in ferns remains unresolved. In this study, five plastid regions (rbcL, matK, trnH-psbA, trnL-F and rps4-trnS) and eight nuclear regions (ITS, pgiC, gapC, LEAFY, ITS2, IBR3_2, DET1, and SQD1_1) were screened and evaluated in the fern genus Adiantum from China and neighboring areas. Due to low primer universality (matK) and/or the existence of multiple copies (ITS), the commonly used barcodes matK and ITS were not appropriate for Adiantum. The PCR amplification rate was extremely low in all nuclear genes except for IBR3_2. rbcL had the highest PCR amplification rate (94.33%) and sequencing success rate (90.78%), while trnH-psbA had the highest species identification rate (75%). With the consideration of discriminatory power, cost-efficiency and effort, the two-barcode combination of rbcL+ trnH-psbA seems to be the best choice for barcoding Adiantum, and perhaps basal polypod ferns in general. The nuclear IBR3_2 showed 100% PCR amplification success rate in Adiantum, however, it seemed that only diploid species could acquire clean sequences without cloning. With cloning, IBR3_2 can successfully distinguish cryptic species and hybrid species from their related species. Because hybridization and allopolyploidy are common in ferns, we argue for including a selected group of nuclear loci as barcodes, especially via the next-generation sequencing, as it is much more efficient to obtain single-copy nuclear loci without the cloning procedure.
Project description:Cyrtomium falcatum is a popular ornamental fern cultivated worldwide. Native to the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and Dokdo Island in the Sea of Japan, it is the only fern present on Dokdo Island. We isolated and characterized the chloroplast (cp) genome of C. falcatum, and compared it with those of closely related species. The genes trnV-GAC and trnV-GAU were found to be present within the cp genome of C. falcatum, whereas trnP-GGG and rpl21 were lacking. Moreover, cp genomes of Cyrtomium devexiscapulae and Adiantum capillus-veneris lack trnP-GGG and rpl21, suggesting these are not conserved among angiosperm cp genomes. The deletion of trnR-UCG, trnR-CCG, and trnSeC in the cp genomes of C. falcatum and other eupolypod ferns indicates these genes are restricted to tree ferns, non-core leptosporangiates, and basal ferns. The C. falcatum cp genome also encoded ndhF and rps7, with GUG start codons that were only conserved in polypod ferns, and it shares two significant inversions with other ferns, including a minor inversion of the trnD-GUC region and an approximate 3 kb inversion of the trnG-trnT region. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Equisetum was found to be a sister clade to Psilotales-Ophioglossales with a 100% bootstrap (BS) value. The sister relationship between Pteridaceae and eupolypods was also strongly supported by a 100% BS, but Bayesian molecular clock analyses suggested that C. falcatum diversified in the mid-Paleogene period (45.15 ± 4.93 million years ago) and might have moved from Eurasia to Dokdo Island.
Project description:Plastid genomes display remarkable organizational stability over evolutionary time. From green algae to angiosperms, most plastid genomes are largely collinear, with only a few cases of inversion, gene loss, or, in extremely rare cases, gene addition. These plastome insertions are mostly clade-specific and are typically of nuclear or mitochondrial origin. Here, we expand on these findings and present the first family-level survey of plastome evolution in ferns, revealing a novel suite of dynamic mobile elements. Comparative plastome analyses of the Pteridaceae expose several mobile open reading frames that vary in sequence length, insertion site, and configuration among sampled taxa. Even between close relatives, the presence and location of these elements is widely variable when viewed in a phylogenetic context. We characterize these elements and refer to them collectively as Mobile Open Reading Frames in Fern Organelles (MORFFO). We further note that the presence of MORFFO is not restricted to Pteridaceae, but is found across ferns and other plant clades. MORFFO elements are regularly associated with inversions, intergenic expansions, and changes to the inverted repeats. They likewise appear to be present in mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of ferns, indicating that they can move between genomic compartments with relative ease. The origins and functions of these mobile elements are unknown, but MORFFO appears to be a major driver of structural genome evolution in the plastomes of ferns, and possibly other groups of plants.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Ferns are large and underexplored group of vascular plants (~?11 thousands species). The genomic data available by now include low coverage nuclear genomes sequences and partial sequences of mitochondrial genomes for six species and several plastid genomes. RESULTS:We characterized plastid genomes of three species of Dryopteris, which is one of the largest fern genera, using sequencing of chloroplast DNA enriched samples and performed comparative analysis with available plastomes of Polypodiales, the most species-rich group of ferns. We also sequenced the plastome of Adianthum hispidulum (Pteridaceae). Unexpectedly, we found high variability in the IR region, including duplication of rrn16 in D. blanfordii, complete loss of trnI-GAU in D. filix-mas, its pseudogenization due to the loss of an exon in D. blanfordii. Analysis of previously reported plastomes of Polypodiales demonstrated that Woodwardia unigemmata and Lepisorus clathratus have unusual insertions in the IR region. The sequence of these inserted regions has high similarity to several LSC fragments of ferns outside of Polypodiales and to spacer between tRNA-CGA and tRNA-TTT genes of mitochondrial genome of Asplenium nidus. We suggest that this reflects the ancient DNA transfer from mitochondrial to plastid genome occurred in a common ancestor of ferns. We determined the marked conservation of gene content and relative evolution rate of genes and intergenic spacers in the IRs of Polypodiales. Faster evolution of the four intergenic regions had been demonstrated (trnA- orf42, rrn16-rps12, rps7-psbA and ycf2-trnN). CONCLUSIONS:IRs of Polypodiales plastomes are dynamic, driven by such events as gene loss, duplication and putative lateral transfer from mitochondria.
Project description:Ferns are one of the few remaining major clades of land plants for which a complete genome sequence is lacking. Knowledge of genome space in ferns will enable broad-scale comparative analyses of land plant genes and genomes, provide insights into genome evolution across green plants, and shed light on genetic and genomic features that characterize ferns, such as their high chromosome numbers and large genome sizes. As part of an initial exploration into fern genome space, we used a whole genome shotgun sequencing approach to obtain low-density coverage (∼0.4X to 2X) for six fern species from the Polypodiales (Ceratopteris, Pteridium, Polypodium, Cystopteris), Cyatheales (Plagiogyria), and Gleicheniales (Dipteris). We explore these data to characterize the proportion of the nuclear genome represented by repetitive sequences (including DNA transposons, retrotransposons, ribosomal DNA, and simple repeats) and protein-coding genes, and to extract chloroplast and mitochondrial genome sequences. Such initial sweeps of fern genomes can provide information useful for selecting a promising candidate fern species for whole genome sequencing. We also describe variation of genomic traits across our sample and highlight some differences and similarities in repeat structure between ferns and seed plants.
Project description:Premise:In the ferns, cell size has been explored with spores, which are largely uniform within species, produced in abundance, and durable. However, spore size and shape have been variously defined, and the relationship of these traits to genome size has not been well established. Here, we explore the variation in fern spore size and shape by ploidy level and genome size. Methods:Measurements of spore dimensions for two study sets of ferns, Polystichum and Adiantum, both including diploid and tetraploid taxa, provided the basis for computing estimates of shape and size as defined here. These traits were compared between and within ploidy levels and regressed with genome size estimates from flow cytometry analysis. Results:All size traits were strongly correlated with genome size; the shape trait was weakly correlated. Tetraploids were larger than diploids as expected; the spores of some closely related diploid species were also significantly different in size. Discussion:Researchers with access to a student-grade compound microscope can develop a valid estimate of relative genome size for ferns. These estimates provide enough resolution to infer ploidy level and explore the relationship between genome size, habitat, and physiological constraints for species within ploidy level.