Horizontal Transfer of DNA from the Mitochondrial to the Plastid Genome and Its Subsequent Evolution in Milkweeds (Apocynaceae) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/articles/rj430638v

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  • Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) of DNA from the plastid to the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of higher plants is a common phenomenon; however, plastid genomes (plastomes) are highly conserved and have generally been regarded as impervious to HGT. We sequenced the 158 kb plastome and the 690 kb mitochondrial genome of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca [Apocynaceae]) and found evidence of intracellular HGT for a 2.4-kb segment of mitochondrial DNA to the rps2–rpoC2 intergenic spacer of the plastome. The transferred region contains an rpl2 pseudogene and is flanked by plastid sequence in the mitochondrial genome, including an rpoC2 pseudogene, which likely provided the mechanism for HGT back to the plastome through double-strand break repair involving homologous recombination. The plastome insertion is restricted to tribe Asclepiadeae of subfamily Asclepiadoideae, whereas the mitochondrial rpoC2 pseudogene is present throughout the subfamily, which confirms that the plastid to mitochondrial HGT event preceded the HGT to the plastome. Although the plastome insertion has been maintained in all lineages of Asclepiadoideae, it shows minimal evidence of transcription in A. syriaca and is likely nonfunctional. Furthermore, we found recent gene conversion of the mitochondrial rpoC2 pseudogene in Asclepias by the plastid gene, which reflects continued interaction of these genomes.
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  • Straub, S. C. K., Cronn, R. C., Edwards, C., Fishbein, M., & Liston, A. (2013). Horizontal transfer of DNA from the mitochondrial to the plastid genome and its subsequent evolution in milkweeds (Apocynaceae). Genome Biology and Evolution, 5(10), 1872-1885. doi:10.1093/gbe/evt140
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