The chloroplast genomes of Bryopsis plumosa and Tydemania expeditiones (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta): compact genomes and genes of bacterial origin

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Background: Species of Bryopsidales form ecologically important components of seaweed communities worldwide. These siphonous macroalgae are composed of a single giant tubular cell containing millions of nuclei and chloroplasts, and harbor diverse bacterial communities. Little is known about the diversity of chloroplast genomes (cpDNAs) in this group, and about the possible consequences of intracellular bacteria on genome composition of the host. We present the complete cpDNAs of Bryopsis plumosa and Tydemania expeditiones, as well as a re-annotated cpDNA of B. hypnoides, which was shown to contain a higher number of genes than originally published. Chloroplast genomic data were also used to evaluate phylogenetic hypotheses in the Chlorophyta, such as monophyly of the Ulvophyceae (the class in which the order Bryopsidales is currently classified). Results: Both DNAs are circular and lack a large inverted repeat. The cpDNA of B. plumosa is 106,859 bp long and contains 115 unique genes. A 13 kb region was identified with several freestanding open reading frames (ORFs) of putative bacterial origin, including a large ORF (>8 kb) closely related to bacterial rhs-family genes. The cpDNA of T. expeditiones is 105,200 bp long and contains 125 unique genes. As in B. plumosa, several regions were identified with ORFs of possible bacterial origin, including genes involved in mobile functions (transposases, integrases, phage/plasmid DNA primases), and ORFs showing close similarity with bacterial DNA methyltransferases. The cpDNA of B. hypnoides differs from that of B. plumosa mainly in the presence of long intergenic spacers, and a large tRNA region. Chloroplast phylogenomic analyses were largely inconclusive with respect to monophyly of the Ulvophyceae, and the relationship of the Bryopsidales within the Chlorophyta. Conclusions: The cpDNAs of B. plumosa and T. expeditiones are amongst the smallest and most gene dense chloroplast genomes in the core Chlorophyta. The presence of bacterial genes, including genes typically found in mobile elements, suggest that these have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer, which may have been facilitated by the occurrence of obligate intracellular bacteria in these siphonous algae.

Horizontal gene transfer, Introns, Mobile elements, Phylogenomics, Plastid genome, Viridiplantae, GREEN-ALGAE, DNA-REPLICATION, PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSES, HORIZONTAL TRANSFER, CATALYTIC INTRONS, PLASTID GENOME, MIXED MODELS, WEB SERVERS, LAND PLANTS, SEQUENCE, Biotechnology & Applied Microbiology, Genetics & Heredity
Leliaert, F., & Lopez-Bautista, J. M. (2015). The chloroplast genomes of Bryopsis plumosa and Tydemania expeditiones (Bryopsidales, Chlorophyta): compact genomes and genes of bacterial origin. In BMC Genomics (Vol. 16, Issue 1). Springer Science and Business Media LLC.