Evolutionary patterns of nucleotide substitution rates in plastid genomes of Quercus

Xuan Li, Yongfu Li, Steven Paul Sylvester, Mingyue Zang, Yousry A. El‐Kassaby, Yanming Fang
2021 Ecology and Evolution  
Molecular evolution, including nucleotide substitutions, plays an important role in understanding the dynamics and mechanisms of species evolution. Here, we sequenced whole plastid genomes (plastomes) of Quercus fabri, Quercus semecarpifolia, Quercus engleriana, and Quercus phellos and compared them with 14 other Quercus plastomes to explore their evolutionary relationships using 67 shared protein-coding sequences. While many previously identified evolutionary relationships were found, our
more » ... ngs do not support previous research which retrieve Quercus subg. Cerris sect. Ilex as a monophyletic group, with sect. Ilex found to be polyphyletic and composed of three strongly supported lineages inserted between sections Cerris and Cyclobalanposis. Compared with gymnosperms, Quercus plastomes showed higher evolutionary rates (Dn/Ds = 0.3793). Most protein-coding genes experienced relaxed purifying selection, and the high Dn value (0.1927) indicated that gene functions adjusted to environmental changes effectively. Our findings suggest that gene interval regions play an important role in Quercus evolution. We detected greater variation in the intergenic regions (trnH-psbA, trnK_UUU-rps16, trnfM_CAU-rps14, trnS_GCU-trnG_GCC, and atpF-atpH), intron losses (petB and petD), and pseudogene loss and degradation (ycf15). Additionally, the loss of some genes suggested the existence of gene exchanges between plastid and nuclear genomes, which affects the evolutionary rate of the former. However, the connective mechanism between these two genomes is still unclear.
doi:10.1002/ece3.8063 pmid:34646478 pmcid:PMC8495791 fatcat:7urcft2yqbd6bkeumgq5mz57ca