Full plastome sequence of the fern Vandenboschia speciosa (Hymenophyllales): structural singularities and evolutionary insights
We provide here the first full chloroplast genome sequence, i.e., the plastome, for a species belonging to the fern order Hymenophyllales. The phylogenetic position of this order within leptosporangiate ferns, together with the general scarcity of information about fern plastomes, places this research as a valuable study on the analysis of the diversity of plastomes throughout fern evolution. Gene content of V. speciosa plastome was similar to that in most ferns, although there were some characteristic gene losses and lineage-specific differences. In addition, an important number of genes required U to C RNA editing for proper protein translation and two genes showed start codons alternative to the canonical AUG (AUA). Concerning gene order, V. speciosa shared the specific 30-kb inversion of euphyllophytes plastomes and the 3.3-kb inversion of fern plastomes, keeping the ancestral gene order shared by eusporangiate and early leptosporangiate ferns. Conversely, V. speciosa has expanded IR regions comprising the rps7, rps12, ndhB and trnL genes in addition to rRNA and other tRNA genes, a condition shared with several eusporangiate ferns, lycophytes and hornworts, as well as most seed plants.
KeywordsFerns Gene losses IR expansion Non-canonical start codons Plastome RNA editing Vandenboschia speciosa
This research has been financed by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad and FEDER founds, Grant: CGL2010-14856 (subprograma BOS). The Dirección General de Gestión del Medio Natural y Espacios Protegidos of the Consejería de Medio Ambiente y Ordenación del Territorio de la Junta de Andalucía authorized and facilitates the sampling of the material. We are highly indebted to Carmen Rodríguez Hiraldo and to Jaime Pereña Ortiz who, together with the team of Agentes de Medio Ambiente of the Consejería, helped us with the sampling procedure.
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