Plastid genome-based phylogeny pinpointed the origin of the green-colored plastid in the dinoflagellate Lepidodinium chlorophorum

Ryoma Kamikawa, Goro Tanifuji, Masanobu Kawachi, Hideaki Miyashita, Tetsuo Hashimoto, Yuji Inagaki
Genome Biology and Evolution 2015, 7 (4): 1133-40
Unlike many other photosynthetic dinoflagellates, whose plastids contain a characteristic carotenoid peridinin, members of the genus Lepidodinium are the only known dinoflagellate species possessing green alga-derived plastids. However, the precise origin of Lepidodinium plastids has hitherto remained uncertain. In this study, we completely sequenced the plastid genome of Lepidodinium chlorophorum NIES-1868. Our phylogenetic analyses of 52 plastid-encoded proteins unite L. chlorophorum exclusively with a pedinophyte, Pedinomonas minor, indicating that the green-colored plastids in Lepidodinium spp. were derived from an endosymbiotic pedinophyte or a green alga closely related to pedinophytes. Our genome comparison incorporating the origin of the Lepidodinium plastids strongly suggests that the endosymbiont plastid genome acquired by the ancestral Lepidodinium species has lost genes encoding proteins involved in metabolism and biosynthesis, protein/metabolite transport, and plastid division during the endosymbiosis. We further discuss the commonalities and idiosyncrasies in genome evolution between the L. chlorophorum plastid and other plastids acquired through endosymbiosis of eukaryotic photoautotrophs.

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