The Complete Plastid Genome Sequence of Madagascar Periwinkle Catharanthus roseus (L.) G. Don: Plastid Genome Evolution, Molecular Marker Identification, and Phylogenetic Implications in Asterids.
ABSTRACT: The Madagascar periwinkle (Catharanthusroseus in the family Apocynaceae) is an important medicinal plant and is the source of several widely marketed chemotherapeutic drugs. It is also commonly grown for its ornamental values and, due to ease of infection and distinctiveness of symptoms, is often used as the host for studies on phytoplasmas, an important group of uncultivated plant pathogens. To gain insights into the characteristics of apocynaceous plastid genomes (plastomes), we used a reference-assisted approach to assemble the complete plastome of C. roseus, which could be applied to other C. roseus-related studies. The C. roseus plastome is the second completely sequenced plastome in the asterid order Gentianales. We performed comparative analyses with two other representative sequences in the same order, including the complete plastome of Coffeaarabica (from the basal Gentianales family Rubiaceae) and the nearly complete plastome of Asclepiassyriaca (Apocynaceae). The results demonstrated considerable variations in gene content and plastome organization within Apocynaceae, including the presence/absence of three essential genes (i.e., accD, clpP, and ycf1) and large size changes in non-coding regions (e.g., rps2-rpoC2 and IRb-ndhF). To find plastome markers of potential utility for Catharanthus breeding and phylogenetic analyses, we identified 41 C. roseus-specific simple sequence repeats. Furthermore, five intergenic regions with high divergence between C. roseus and three other euasterids I taxa were identified as candidate markers. To resolve the euasterids I interordinal relationships, 82 plastome genes were used for phylogenetic inference. With the addition of representatives from Apocynaceae and sampling of most other asterid orders, a sister relationship between Gentianales and Solanales is supported.
Project description:Ardisia is a basal asterid genus well known for its medicinal values and has the potential for development of novel phytopharmaceuticals. In this genus of nearly 500 species, many ornamental species are commonly grown worldwide and some have become invasive species that caused ecological problems. As there is no completed plastid genome (plastome) sequence in related taxa, we sequenced and characterized the plastome of Ardisia polysticta to find plastid markers of potential utility for phylogenetic analyses at low taxonomic levels. The complete A. polysticta plastome is 156,506 bp in length and has gene content and organization typical of most asterids and other angiosperms. We identified seven intergenic regions as potentially informative markers with resolution for interspecific relationships. Additionally, we characterized the diversity of asterid plastomes with respect to GC content, plastome organization, gene content, and repetitive sequences through comparative analyses. The results demonstrated that the genome organizations near the boundaries between inverted repeats (IRs) and single-copy regions (SCs) are polymorphic. The boundary organization found in Ardisia appears to be the most common type among asterids, while six other types are also found in various asterid lineages. In general, the repetitive sequences in genic regions tend to be more conserved, whereas those in noncoding regions are usually lineage-specific. Finally, we inferred the whole-plastome phylogeny with the available asterid sequences. With the improvement in taxon sampling of asterid orders and families, our result highlights the uncertainty of the position of Gentianales within euasterids I.
Project description:Divergence time analyses in the coffee family (Rubiaceae) have all relied on the same Gentianales crown group age estimate, reported by an earlier analysis of the asterids, for defining the upper age bound of the root node in their analyses. However, not only did the asterid analysis suffer from several analytical shortcomings, but the estimate itself has been used in highly inconsistent ways in these Rubiaceae analyses. Based on the original data, we here reanalyze the divergence times of the asterids using relaxed-clock models and 14 fossil-based minimum age constraints. We also expand the data set to include an additional 67 taxa from Rubiaceae sampled across all three subfamilies recognized in the family. Three analyses are conducted: a separate analysis of the asterids, which completely mirrors the original asterid analysis in terms of taxon sample and data; a separate analysis of the Gentianales, where the result from the first analysis is used for defining a secondary root calibration point; and a combined analysis where all taxa are analyzed simultaneously. Results are presented in the form of a time-calibrated phylogeny, and age estimates for asterid groups, Gentianales, and major groups of Rubiaceae are compared and discussed in relation to previously published estimates. Our updated age estimates for major groups of Rubiaceae provide a significant step forward towards the long term goal of establishing a robust temporal framework for the divergence of this biologically diverse and fascinating group of plants.
Project description:Alkaloid accumulation in plants is activated in response to stress, is limited in distribution and specific alkaloid repertoires are variable across taxa. Rauvolfioideae (Apocynaceae, Gentianales) represents a major center of structural expansion in the monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIAs) yielding thousands of unique molecules including highly valuable chemotherapeutics. The paucity of genome-level data for Apocynaceae precludes a deeper understanding of MIA pathway evolution hindering the elucidation of remaining pathway enzymes and the improvement of MIA availability in planta or in vitro. We sequenced the nuclear genome of Rhazya stricta (Apocynaceae, Rauvolfioideae) and present this high quality assembly in comparison with that of coffee (Rubiaceae, Coffea canephora, Gentianales) and others to investigate the evolution of genome-scale features. The annotated Rhazya genome was used to develop the community resource, RhaCyc, a metabolic pathway database. Gene family trees were constructed to identify homologs of MIA pathway genes and to examine their evolutionary history. We found that, unlike Coffea, the Rhazya lineage has experienced many structural rearrangements. Gene tree analyses suggest recent, lineage-specific expansion and diversification among homologs encoding MIA pathway genes in Gentianales and provide candidate sequences with the potential to close gaps in characterized pathways and support prospecting for new MIA production avenues.
Project description:The genus Cuscuta (Convolvulaceae, the morning glory family) is one of the most intensely studied lineages of parasitic plants. Whole plastome sequencing of four Cuscuta species has demonstrated changes to both plastid gene content and structure. The presence of photosynthetic genes under purifying selection indicates that Cuscuta is cryptically photosynthetic. However, the tempo and mode of plastid genome evolution across the diversity of this group (~200 species) remain largely unknown. A comparative investigation of plastid genome content, grounded within a phylogenetic framework, was conducted using a slot-blot Southern hybridization approach. Cuscuta was extensively sampled (~56% of species), including groups previously suggested to possess more altered plastomes compared with other members of this genus. A total of 56 probes derived from all categories of protein-coding genes, typically found within the plastomes of flowering plants, were used. The results indicate that two clades within subgenus Grammica (clades 'O' and 'K') exhibit substantially more plastid gene loss relative to other members of Cuscuta. All surveyed members of the 'O' clade show extensive losses of plastid genes from every category of genes typically found in the plastome, including otherwise highly conserved small and large ribosomal subunits. The extent of plastid gene losses within this clade is similar in magnitude to that observed previously in some non-asterid holoparasites, in which the very presence of a plastome has been questioned. The 'K' clade also exhibits considerable loss of plastid genes. Unlike in the 'O' clade, in which all species seem to be affected, the losses in clade 'K' progress phylogenetically, following a pattern consistent with the Evolutionary Transition Series hypothesis. This clade presents an ideal opportunity to study the reduction of the plastome of parasites 'in action'. The widespread plastid gene loss in these two clades is hypothesized to be a consequence of the complete loss of photosynthesis. Additionally, taxa that would be the best candidates for entire plastome sequencing are identified in order to investigate further the loss of photosynthesis and reduction of the plastome within Cuscuta.
Project description:Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of DNA from the plastid to the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of higher plants is a common phenomenon; however, plastid genomes (plastomes) are highly conserved and have generally been regarded as impervious to HGT. We sequenced the 158 kb plastome and the 690 kb mitochondrial genome of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca [Apocynaceae]) and found evidence of intracellular HGT for a 2.4-kb segment of mitochondrial DNA to the rps2-rpoC2 intergenic spacer of the plastome. The transferred region contains an rpl2 pseudogene and is flanked by plastid sequence in the mitochondrial genome, including an rpoC2 pseudogene, which likely provided the mechanism for HGT back to the plastome through double-strand break repair involving homologous recombination. The plastome insertion is restricted to tribe Asclepiadeae of subfamily Asclepiadoideae, whereas the mitochondrial rpoC2 pseudogene is present throughout the subfamily, which confirms that the plastid to mitochondrial HGT event preceded the HGT to the plastome. Although the plastome insertion has been maintained in all lineages of Asclepiadoideae, it shows minimal evidence of transcription in A. syriaca and is likely nonfunctional. Furthermore, we found recent gene conversion of the mitochondrial rpoC2 pseudogene in Asclepias by the plastid gene, which reflects continued interaction of these genomes.
Project description:<i>Wrightia laevis</i> Hook. f. is a great tree of Apocynaceae. It is mainly distributed in Southeast provinces of China and Southeast Asian countries. It is a plant that combines dyestuff and economic value. There is no study on the genome of <i>W. laevis</i>so far. Here we report and characterize the complete plastid genome sequence of <i>W. laevis</i> in order to provide genomic resources useful for promoting its conservation. The complete chloroplast genome of <i>W. laevis</i> is 155,274?bp in length with a typical quadripartite structure, consisting of a large single-copy region (LSC, 85,463?bp), a single-copy region (SSC, 18,181?bp) and a pair of inverted repeats (IRs, 25,815?bp). There are 133 genes annotated, including 88 unique protein-coding genes, 8 unique ribosomal RNA genes, and 37 transfer RNA genes. The overall G/C content in the plastome of <i>W. laevis</i> is 38.05%. The complete plastome sequence of <i>W. laevis</i> will provide a useful resource for the conservation genetics of this species as well as for phylogenetic studies in Apocynaceae.
Project description:The first complete chloroplast genome sequences of new intercepted alien weeds in China, <i>Diodia</i>, were reported in this study. The <i>D. virginiana</i> plastome was 154,387?bp long, with the large single copy (LSC) region of 83,625?bp, the small single copy (SSC) region of 17,475?bp, and two inverted repeat (IR) regions of 26,643?bp. The plastome contained 137 genes, including 92 proteincoding, eight ribosomal RNA, and 37 transfer RNA genes. The overall GC content was 37.2%. Phylogenetic analysis of 24 representative plastomes within the order Gentianales suggests that subfamily Cinchonoideae is closely related to subfamily Ixoroideae compared with subfamily Rubioideae in Rubiaceae. Tribe Spermacoceae was most closely related to Rubieae among the three representative groups of subfamily Rubioideae.
Project description:Completely sequenced plastomes provide a valuable source of information about the duplication, loss, and transfer events of chloroplast genes and phylogenetic data for resolving relationships among major groups of plants. Moreover, they can also be useful for exploiting chloroplast genetic engineering technology. Ericales account for approximately six per cent of eudicot diversity with 11,545 species from which only three complete plastome sequences are currently available. With the aim of increasing the number of ericalean complete plastome sequences, and to open new perspectives in understanding Mediterranean plant adaptations, a genomic study on the basis of the complete chloroplast genome sequencing of Arbutus unedo and an updated phylogenomic analysis of Asteridae was implemented. The chloroplast genome of A. unedo shows extensive rearrangements but a medium size (150,897 nt) in comparison to most of angiosperms. A number of remarkable distinct features characterize the plastome of A. unedo: five-fold dismissing of the SSC region in relation to most angiosperms; complete loss or pseudogenization of a number of essential genes; duplication of the ndhH-D operon and its location within the two IRs; presence of large tandem repeats located near highly re-arranged regions and pseudogenes. All these features outline the primary evolutionary split between Ericaceae and other ericalean families. The newly sequenced plastome of A. unedo with the available asterid sequences allowed the resolution of some uncertainties in previous phylogenies of Asteridae.
Project description:Calotropis gigantea produces specialized secondary metabolites known as cardenolides, which have anticancer and antimalarial properties. Although transcriptomic studies have been conducted in other cardenolide-producing species, no nuclear genome assembly for an Asterid cardenolide-producing species has been reported to date. A high-quality de novo assembly was generated for C. gigantea, representing 157,284,427 bp with an N50 scaffold size of 805,959 bp, for which quality assessments indicated a near complete representation of the genic space. Transcriptome data in the form of RNA-sequencing libraries from a developmental tissue series was generated to aid the annotation and construction of a gene expression atlas. Using an ab initio and evidence-driven gene annotation pipeline, 18,197 high-confidence genes were annotated. Homologous and syntenic relationships between C. gigantea and other species within the Apocynaceae family confirmed previously identified evolutionary relationships, and suggest the emergence or loss of the specialized cardenolide metabolites after the divergence of the Apocynaceae subfamilies. The C. gigantea genome assembly, annotation, and RNA-sequencing data provide a novel resource to study the cardenolide biosynthesis pathway, especially for understanding the evolutionary origin of cardenolides and the engineering of cardenolide production in heterologous organisms for existing and novel pharmaceutical applications.
Project description:<i>Klainedoxa gabonensis</i> Pierre ex Engl. is an important tropical tree species. In this study, its complete plastome sequence was determined. This is the first reported complete plastome sequence in the family Irvingiaceae. The plastome is totally 160,118?bp in length, containing a pair of 26,963-bp-long inverted repeat regions (IRs), a large single copy region of 88,157?bp, and a small single copy region of 18,035?bp. A total of 112 unique genes were identified in <i>K. gabonensis</i> plastome, of which 78 are protein-coding genes, 30 are tRNA genes, and four are rRNA genes. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the close relationship between <i>K. gabonensis</i> and <i>Irvingia malayana</i>.