The Zygnematales (Charophyta) contain a group-I intron (subgroup IC1) within their nuclear-encoded small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) coding region. This intron, which is inserted after position 1506 (relative to the SSU rDNA of Escherichia coli), is proposed to have been vertically inherited since the origin of the Zygnematales approximately 350-400 million years ago. Primary and secondary structure analyses were carried out to model group-I intron evolution in the Zygnematales. Secondary structure analyses support genetic data regarding sequence conservation within regions known to be functionally important for in vitro self-splicing of group-I introns. Comparisons of zygnematalean group-I intron secondary structures also provided some new insights into sequences that may have important roles in in vivo RNA splicing. Sequence analyses showed that sequence divergence rates and the nucleotide compositions of introns and coding regions within any one taxon varied widely, suggesting that the '1506' group-I introns and rDNA coding regions in the Zygnematales evolve independently.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Group-I introns
- Secondary structure
- Small subunit ribosomal DNA