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Sun, Y., M. J. Moore, S. Zhang, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, T. Zhao, A. Meng, X. Li, J. Li, and H. Wang. 2015. Phylogenomic and structural analyses of 18 complete plastomes across all families of early-diverging eudicots, including an angiosperm-wide analysis of IR gene content evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2015.12.006. [View on publisher’s site]

Proposed evolutionary history of IR gene content found in angiosperm plastid genomes (from Sun et al. 2015)


The grade of early-diverging eudicots includes five major lineages: Ranunculales, Trochodendrales, Buxales, Proteales and Sabiaceae. To examine the evolution of plastome structure in early-diverging eudicots, we determined the complete plastome sequences of eight previously unsequenced early-diverging eudicot taxa, Pachysandra terminalis (Buxaceae), Meliosma aff. cuneifolia (Sabiaceae), Sabia yunnanensis(Sabiaceae), Epimedium sagittatum (Berberidaceae), Euptelea pleiosperma(Eupteleaceae), Akebia trifoliata (Lardizabalaceae), Stephania japonica(Menispermaceae) and Papaver somniferum (Papaveraceae), and compared them to previously published plastomes of the early-diverging eudicots Buxus, Tetracentron,Trochodendron, Nelumbo, Platanus, Nandina, Megaleranthis, Ranunculus, Mahoniaand Macadamia. All of the newly sequenced plastomes share the same 79 protein-coding genes, 4 rRNA genes, and 30 tRNA genes, except for that of Epimedium, in whichinfA is pseudogenized and clpP is highly divergent and possibly a pseudogene. The boundaries of the plastid Inverted Repeat (IR) were found to vary significantly across early-diverging eudicots; IRs ranged from 24.3 to 36.4 kb in length and contained from 18 to 33 genes. Based on gene content, the IR was classified into six types, with shifts among types characterized by high levels of homoplasy. Reconstruction of ancestral IR gene content suggested that 18 genes were likely present in the IR region of the ancestor of eudicots. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of a 79-gene, 97-taxon data set that included all available early-diverging eudicots and representative sampling of remaining angiosperm diversity largely agreed with previous estimates of early-diverging eudicot relationships, but resolved Trochodendrales rather than Buxales as sister toGunneridae, albeit with relatively weak bootstrap support, conflicting with what has been found for these three clades in most previous analyses. In addition, Proteales was resolved as sister to Sabiaceae with the highest support (bootstrap >90%) yet observed in plastome-scale phylogenetic analyses.