Comparative analysis of plastid genomes in the non-photosynthetic genus Thismia reveals ongoing gene set reduction

Yudina, Sophia V., Schelkunov, Mikhail I., Nauheimer, Lars, Crayn, Darren, Chantanaorrapint, Sahut, Hroneš, Michal, Sochor, Michal, Dančák, Martin, Mar, Shek-Shing, Luu, Hong Truong, Nuraliev, Maxim S., and Logacheva, Maria D. (2021) Comparative analysis of plastid genomes in the non-photosynthetic genus Thismia reveals ongoing gene set reduction. Frontiers in Plant Science, 12. 602598.

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Heterotrophic plants provide intriguing examples of reductive evolution. This is especially evident in the reduction of their plastid genomes, which can potentially proceed toward complete genome loss. Several milestones at the beginning of this path of degradation have been described; however, little is known about the latest stages of plastome reduction. Here we analyze a diversity of plastid genomes in a set of closely related non-photosynthetic plants. We demonstrate how a gradual loss of genes shapes the miniaturized plastomes of these plants. The subject of our study, the genus Thismia, represents the mycoheterotrophic monocot family Thismiaceae, a group that may have experienced a very ancient (60–80 mya) transition to heterotrophy. In all 18 species examined, the plastome is reduced to 14–18 kb and is highly AT-biased. The most complete observed gene set includes accD, seven ribosomal protein genes, three rRNA, and two tRNA genes. Different clades of Thismia have undergone further gene loss (complete absence or pseudogenization) compared to this set: in particular, we report two independent losses of rps2 and rps18.

Item ID: 70491
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-462X
Keywords: genome reductive evolution, mycoheterotrophy, non-photosynthetic plants, plastid genome, Thismia
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 Yudina, Schelkunov, Nauheimer, Crayn, Chantanaorrapint, Hroneš, Sochor, Dančák, Mar, Luu, Nuraliev and Logacheva. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2021 04:22
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3105 Genetics > 310510 Molecular evolution @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310410 Phylogeny and comparative analysis @ 50%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280102 Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences @ 100%
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