JOURNAL ARTICLE

The complete chloroplast genome sequence of Mahonia bealei (Berberidaceae) reveals a significant expansion of the inverted repeat and phylogenetic relationship with other angiosperms

Ji Ma, Bingxian Yang, Wei Zhu, Lianli Sun, Jingkui Tian, Xumin Wang
Gene 2013 October 10, 528 (2): 120-31
23900198
Mahonia bealei (Berberidaceae) is a frequently-used traditional Chinese medicinal plant with efficient anti-inflammatory ability. This plant is one of the sources of berberine, a new cholesterol-lowering drug with anti-diabetic activity. We have sequenced the complete nucleotide sequence of the chloroplast (cp) genome of M. bealei. The complete cp genome of M. bealei is 164,792 bp in length, and has a typical structure with large (LSC 73,052 bp) and small (SSC 18,591 bp) single-copy regions separated by a pair of inverted repeats (IRs 36,501 bp) of large size. The Mahonia cp genome contains 111 unique genes and 39 genes are duplicated in the IR regions. The gene order and content of M. bealei are almost unarranged which is consistent with the hypothesis that large IRs stabilize cp genome and reduce gene loss-and-gain probabilities during evolutionary process. A large IR expansion of over 12 kb has occurred in M. bealei, 15 genes (rps19, rpl22, rps3, rpl16, rpl14, rps8, infA, rpl36, rps11, petD, petB, psbH, psbN, psbT and psbB) have expanded to have an additional copy in the IRs. The IR expansion rearrangement occurred via a double-strand DNA break and subsequence repair, which is different from the ordinary gene conversion mechanism. Repeat analysis identified 39 direct/inverted repeats 30 bp or longer with a sequence identity ≥ 90%. Analysis also revealed 75 simple sequence repeat (SSR) loci and almost all are composed of A or T, contributing to a distinct bias in base composition. Comparison of protein-coding sequences with ESTs reveals 9 putative RNA edits and 5 of them resulted in non-synonymous modifications in rpoC1, rps2, rps19 and ycf1. Phylogenetic analysis using maximum parsimony (MP) and maximum likelihood (ML) was performed on a dataset composed of 65 protein-coding genes from 25 taxa, which yields an identical tree topology as previous plastid-based trees, and provides strong support for the sister relationship between Ranunculaceae and Berberidaceae. Molecular dating analyses suggest that Ranunculaceae and Berberidaceae diverged between 90 and 84 mya, which is congruent with the fossil records and with recent estimates of the divergence time of these two taxa.

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