Gene content, organization and molecular evolution of plant organellar genomes and sex chromosomes — Insights from the case of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha

Abstract

The complete nucleotide sequence of chloroplast DNA (121,025 base pairs, bp) from a liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, has made clear the entire gene organization of the chloroplast genome. Quite a few genes encoding components of photosynthesis and protein synthesis machinery have been identified by comparative computer analysis. We also determined the complete nucleotide sequence of the liverwort mitochondrial DNA and deduced 96 possible genes in the sequence of 186,608 bp. The complete chloroplast genome encodes twenty introns (19 group II and 1 group I) in 18 different genes. One of the chloroplast group II introns separates a ribosomal protein gene in a trans-position. The mitochondrial genome contains thirty-two introns (25 group II and 7 group I) in the coding regions of 17 genes. From the evolutionary point of view, we describe the origin of organellar introns and give evidence for vertical and horizontal intron transfers and their intragenomic propagation. Furthermore, we describe the gene organization of the Y chromosome in the dioecious liverwort M. polymorpha, the first detailed view of a Y chromosome in a haploid organism. On the 10 megabase (Mb) Y chromosome, 64 genes are identified, 14 of which are detected only in the male genome. These 14 genes are expressed in reproductive organs but not in vegetative thalli, suggesting their participation in male reproductive functions. These findings indicate that the Y and X chromosomes share the same ancestral autosome and support the prediction that in a haploid organism essential genes on sex chromosomes are more likely to persist than in a diploid organism.

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@inproceedings{Ohyama2009GeneCO, title={Gene content, organization and molecular evolution of plant organellar genomes and sex chromosomes — Insights from the case of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha}, author={Kanji Ohyama and Miho Takemura and Kenji Oda and Hideya Fukuzawa and Takayuki Kohchi and Sigeki Nakayama and Kimitsune Ishizaki and Masaki Fujisawa and Katsuyuki T. Yamato}, booktitle={Proceedings of the Japan Academy. Series B, Physical and biological sciences}, year={2009} }