Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 59, Issue 4, pp 464–477 | Cite as

Comparative Analysis of the Complete Plastid Genome Sequence of the Red Alga Gracilaria tenuistipitata var. liui Provides Insights into the Evolution of Rhodoplasts and Their Relationship to Other Plastids

  • Jonathan C. Hagopian
  • Marcelo Reis
  • João P. Kitajima
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
  • Mariana C. de OliveiraEmail author


We sequenced to completion the circular plastid genome of the red alga Gracilaria tenuistipitata var. liui. This is the first plastid genome sequence from the subclass Florideophycidae (Rhodophyta). The genome is composed of 183,883 bp and contains 238 predicted genes, including a single copy of the ribosomal RNA operon. Comparisons with the plastid genome of Porphyra pupurea reveal strong conservation of gene content and order, but we found major genomic rearrangements and the presence of coding regions that are specific to Gracilaria. Phylogenetic analysis of a data set of 41 concatenated proteins from 23 plastid and two cyanobacterial genomes support red algal plastid monophyly and a specific evolutionary relationship between the Florideophycidae and the Bangiales. Gracilaria maintains a surprisingly ancient gene content in its plastid genome and, together with other Rhodophyta, contains the most complete repertoire of plastid genes known in photosynthetic eukaryotes.


Gracilaria tenuistipitata Molecular phylogeny Plastid evolution Plastid genome Red alga Rhodophyta 



This work was supported by FAPESP and CNPq. D.B. was supported by a grant from the (U.S.) National Science Foundation (DEB 01-0774). J.C.H thanks the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Brazilian Fulbright Commission, and the Organization of American States for fellowships.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan C. Hagopian
    • 1
  • Marcelo Reis
    • 2
  • João P. Kitajima
    • 2
    • 4
  • Debashish Bhattacharya
    • 3
  • Mariana C. de Oliveira
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Botânica, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de BioinformáticaInstituto de Computação, UNICAMPCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Comparative GenomicsUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA
  4. 4.Alellyx Applied GenomicsCampinasBrazil

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