Dynamic evolution of the chloroplast genome in the green algal classes pedinophyceae and trebouxiophyceae

Authors: Turmel, Monique; Otis, Christian; Lemieux, Claude
Abstract: Previous studies of trebouxiophycean chloroplast genomes revealed little information regarding the evolutionary dynamics of this genome because taxon sampling was too sparse and the relationships between the sampled taxa were unknown. We recently sequenced the chloroplast genomes of 27 trebouxiophycean and 2 pedinophycean green algae to resolve the relationships among the main lineages recognized for the Trebouxiophyceae. These taxa and the previously sampled members of the Pedinophyceae and Trebouxiophyceae are included in the comparative chloroplast genome analysis we report here. The 38 genomes examined display considerable variability at all levels, except gene content. Our results highlight the high propensity of the rDNA-containing large inverted repeat (IR) to vary in size, gene content and gene order as well as the repeated losses it experienced during trebouxiophycean evolution. Of the seven predicted IR losses, one event demarcates a superclade of 11 taxa representing 5 late-diverging lineages. IR expansions/contractions account not only for changes in gene content in this region but also for changes in gene order and gene duplications. Inversions also led to gene rearrangements within the IR, including the reversal or disruption of the rDNA operon in some lineages. Most of the 20 IR-less genomes are more rearranged compared with their IR-containing homologs and tend to show an accelerated rate of sequence evolution. In the IR-less superclade, several ancestral operons were disrupted, a few genes were fragmented, and a subgroup of taxa features a G+C-biased nucleotide composition. Our analyses also unveiled putative cases of gene acquisitions through horizontal transfer.
Document Type: Article de recherche
Issue Date: 1 July 2015
Open Access Date: Restricted access
Document version: VoR
Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/310
This document was published in: Genome biology and evolution, Vol. 7 (7), 2062 (2015)
Oxford University Press
Alternative version: 10.1093/gbe/evv130
Collection:Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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