Complete Chloroplast Genomes of Three Salix Species: Genome Structures and Phylogenetic Analysis
High genetic diversity and low differentiation present challenges in taxonomy and systematics of Salix. Chloroplast (cp) genome sequencing is efficient for providing new genomic information and elucidating phylogenetic relationships. Salix spathulifolia Seemen, S. cupularis Rehder, and S. annulifera C.Marquand & Airy Shaw are three shrubby willows spread in high-altitude regions in western China. In this study, the integrated circular cp genomes were sequenced and analyzed, and a phylogeny of
... lix was constructed on the basis of the cp genomes. The results of chloroplast assembly and annotation information were used to characterize genome feature and interspecific variation. The phylogenetic position of the three willows was evaluated using phylogenetic analysis. Full-length cp genomes were 155,566–155,680 bp with a typical double-stranded circular quadripartite structure, containing one large single-copy region (LSC, 84,431–4552 bp), one small single-copy region (SSC: 16,206–16,221 bp), and two inverted repeats (IR: 27,453–27,461 bp). The cp genomes encoded 130 genes, including 8 rRNA genes, 37 tRNA genes, and 85 protein-coding genes. The guanine-cytosine (GC) content of the overall genome was 36.7%. Comparison among the three willows' cp genomes revealed high similarity. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that S. spathulifolia was a basal taxon of clade I, while S. annulifera formed a monophyletic group with S. rorida Laksch.; S. cupularis was sister to S. suchowensis W.C. Cheng and S. psammophila Z. Wang & Chang Y. Yang. The complete chloroplast genomes of the three willows provides an additional sequence-based resource for studying the phylogeny and evolutionary history of Salicaceae.