Dynamics of chloroplast genomes in green plants

Jian Hong Xu, Qiuxiang Liu, Wangxiong Hu, Tingzhang Wang, Qingzhong Xue, Joachim Messing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Chloroplasts are essential organelles, in which genes have widely been used in the phylogenetic analysis of green plants. Here, we took advantage of the breadth of plastid genomes (cpDNAs) sequenced species to investigate their dynamic changes. Our study showed that gene rearrangements occurred more frequently in the cpDNAs of green algae than in land plants. Phylogenetic trees were generated using 55 conserved protein-coding genes including 33 genes for photosynthesis, 16 ribosomal protein genes and 6 other genes, which supported the monophyletic evolution of vascular plants, land plants, seed plants, and angiosperms. Moreover, we could show that seed plants were more closely related to bryophytes rather than pteridophytes. Furthermore, the substitution rate for cpDNA genes was calculated to be 3.3×10-10, which was almost 10 times lower than genes of nuclear genomes, probably because of the plastid homologous recombination machinery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-231
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics


  • Chloroplast genome
  • Gene rearrangement
  • Genome organization
  • Inverted repeat
  • Ka/Ks


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