Plastome-Wide Nucleotide Substitution Rates Reveal Accelerated Rates in Papilionoideae and Correlations with Genome Features Across Legume Subfamilies
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- Schwarz, E.N., Ruhlman, T.A., Weng, ML. et al. J Mol Evol (2017). doi:10.1007/s00239-017-9792-x
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This study represents the most comprehensive plastome-wide comparison of nucleotide substitution rates across the three subfamilies of Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae, Mimosoideae, and Papilionoideae. Caesalpinioid and mimosoid legumes have large, unrearranged plastomes compared with papilionoids, which exhibit varying levels of rearrangement including the loss of the inverted repeat (IR) in the IR-lacking clade (IRLC). Using 71 genes common to 39 legume taxa representing all the three subfamilies, we show that papilionoids consistently have higher nucleotide substitution rates than caesalpinioids and mimosoids, and rates in the IRLC papilionoids are generally higher than those in the IR-containing papilionoids. Unsurprisingly, this pattern was significantly correlated with growth habit as most papilionoids are herbaceous, whereas caesalpinioids and mimosoids are largely woody. Both nonsynonymous (dN) and synonymous (dS) substitution rates were also correlated with several biological features including plastome size and plastomic rearrangements such as the number of inversions and indels. In agreement with previous reports, we found that genes in the IR exhibit between three and fourfold reductions in the substitution rates relative to genes within the large single-copy or small single-copy regions. Furthermore, former IR genes in IR-lacking taxa exhibit accelerated rates compared with genes contained in the IR.