, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 563–582 | Cite as

Genetic, evolutionary and phylogenetic aspects of the plastome of annatto (Bixa orellana L.), the Amazonian commercial species of natural dyes

  • Túlio Gomes Pacheco
  • Amanda de Santana Lopes
  • Gélia Dinah Monteiro Viana
  • Odyone Nascimento da Silva
  • Gleyson Morais da Silva
  • Leila do Nascimento Vieira
  • Miguel Pedro Guerra
  • Rubens Onofre Nodari
  • Emanuel Maltempi de Souza
  • Fábio de Oliveira Pedrosa
  • Wagner Campos Otoni
  • Marcelo RogalskiEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

The plastome of B. orellana reveals specific evolutionary features, unique RNA editing sites, molecular markers and the position of Bixaceae within Malvales.

Annatto (Bixa orellana L.) is a native species of tropical Americas with center of origin in Brazilian Amazonia. Its seeds accumulate the apocarotenoids, bixin and norbixin, which are only found in high content in this species. The seeds of B. orellana are commercially valued by the food industry because its dyes replace synthetic ones from the market due to potential carcinogenic risks. The increasing consumption of B. orellana seeds for dye extraction makes necessary the increase of productivity, which is possible accessing the genetic basis and searching for elite genotypes. The identification and characterization of molecular markers are essential to analyse the genetic diversity of natural populations and to establish suitable strategies for conservation, domestication, germplasm characterization and genetic breeding. Therefore, we sequenced and characterized in detail the plastome of B. orellana. The plastome of B. orellana is a circular DNA molecule of 159,708 bp with a typical quadripartite structure and 112 unique genes. Additionally, a total of 312 SSR loci were identified in the plastome of B. orellana. Moreover, we predicted in 23 genes a total of 57 RNA-editing sites of which 11 are unique for B. orellana. Furthermore, our plastid phylogenomic analyses, using the plastome sequences available in the plastid database belonging to species of order Malvales, indicate a closed relationship between Bixaceae and Malvaceae, which formed a sister group to Thymelaeaceae. Finally, our study provided useful data to be employed in several genetic and biotechnological approaches in B. orellana and related species of the family Bixaceae.


Bixaceae Cytoplasmic inheritance Plastid SSRs Polymorphism hotspots Gene divergence Plastid RNA editing 



This research was support by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, Brazil (CNPq, Grant 459698/2014-1). We are grateful to INCT-FBN and for the scholarships granted by the Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (CAPES) to GDMV, ONS, GMS and LNV, and those granted by the CNPq to ASL, TGP, MPG, RON, EMS, FOP and WCO.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

425_2018_3023_MOESM1_ESM.docx (553 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 553 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Túlio Gomes Pacheco
    • 1
  • Amanda de Santana Lopes
    • 1
  • Gélia Dinah Monteiro Viana
    • 1
  • Odyone Nascimento da Silva
    • 1
  • Gleyson Morais da Silva
    • 1
  • Leila do Nascimento Vieira
    • 2
  • Miguel Pedro Guerra
    • 2
  • Rubens Onofre Nodari
    • 2
  • Emanuel Maltempi de Souza
    • 3
  • Fábio de Oliveira Pedrosa
    • 3
  • Wagner Campos Otoni
    • 4
  • Marcelo Rogalski
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratório de Fisiologia Molecular de Plantas, Departamento de Biologia VegetalUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Fisiologia do Desenvolvimento e Genética Vegetal, Programa de Pós-graduação em Recursos Genéticos VegetaisUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia Molecular, Núcleo de Fixação Biológica de NitrogênioUniversidade Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Cultura de Tecidos Vegetais, Departamento de Biologia VegetalBIOAGRO, Universidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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