Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 66, Issue 6, pp 555-564

First online:

Complete Sequence of the Duckweed (Lemna minor) Chloroplast Genome: Structural Organization and Phylogenetic Relationships to Other Angiosperms

  • Andrey V. MardanovAffiliated withCentre “Bioengineering”, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , Nikolai V. RavinAffiliated withCentre “Bioengineering”, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , Boris B. KuznetsovAffiliated withCentre “Bioengineering”, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , Tahir H. SamigullinAffiliated withA. N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University
  • , Andrey S. AntonovAffiliated withA. N. Belozersky Institute of Physico-Chemical Biology, Moscow State University
  • , Tatiana V. KolganovaAffiliated withCentre “Bioengineering”, Russian Academy of Sciences
  • , Konstantin G. SkyabinAffiliated withCentre “Bioengineering”, Russian Academy of Sciences Email author 

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The complete nucleotide sequence of the duckweed (Lemna minor) chloroplast genome (cpDNA) was determined. The cpDNA is a circular molecule of 165,955 bp containing a pair of 31,223-bp inverted repeat regions (IRs), which are separated by small and large single-copy regions of 89,906 and 13,603 bp, respectively. The entire gene pool and relative positions of 112 genes (78 protein-encoding genes, 30 tRNA genes, and 4 rRNA genes) are almost identical to those of Amborella trichopoda cpDNA; the minor difference is the absence of infA and ycf15 genes in the duckweed cpDNA. The inverted repeat is expanded to include ycf1 and rps15 genes; this pattern is unique and does not occur in any other sequenced cpDNA of land plants. As in basal angiosperms and eudicots, but not in other monocots, the borders between IRs and a large single-copy region are located upstream of rps19 and downstream of trnH, so that trnH is not included in IRs. The model of rearrangements of the chloroplast genome during the evolution of monocots is proposed as the result of the comparison of cpDNA structures in duckweed and other monocots. The phylogenetic analyses of 61 protein-coding genes from 38 plastid genome sequences provided strong support for the monophyly of monocots and position of Lemna as the next diverging lineage of monocots after Acorales. Our analyses also provided support for Amborella as a sister to all other angiosperms, but in the bayesian phylogeny inference based on the first two codon positions Amborella united with Nymphaeales.


Chloroplast genome Lemna minor Monocots Phylogeny Angiosperms