The chloroplast genome of mulberry: complete nucleotide sequence, gene organization and comparative analysis
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The complete nucleotide sequence of mulberry (Morus indica cv. K2) chloroplast genome (158,484 bp) has been determined using a combination of long PCR and shotgun-based approaches. This is the third angiosperm tree species whose plastome sequence has been completely deciphered. The circular double-stranded molecule comprises of two identical inverted repeats (25,678 bp each) separating a large and a small single-copy region of 87,386 bp and 19,742 bp, respectively. A total of 83 protein-coding genes including five genes duplicated in the inverted repeat regions, eight ribosomal RNA genes and 37 tRNA genes (30 gene species) representing 20 amino acids, were assigned on the basis of homology to predicted genes from other chloroplast genomes. The mulberry plastome lacks the genes infA, sprA, and rpl21 and contains two pseudogenes ycf15 and ycf68. Comparative analysis, based on sequence similarity, both at the gene and genome level, indicates Morus to be closer to Cucumis and Lotus, phylogenetically. However, at genome level, inclusion of non-coding regions brings it closer to Eucalyptus, followed by Cucumis. This may reflect differential selection pressure operating on the genic and intergenic regions of the chloroplast genome.