Authors: Hsieh, Chia-Lun; Xu, Wei-Bin; Chung, Kuo-Fang
Publication: Nature
Year: 2022
Genera: Petrocodon, Primulina

Petrocodon and Primulina are two characteristic genera of Gesneriaceae that exhibit remarkable species and floral diversity, and high endemism across the Sino-Vietnamese Limestone Karsts. To better understand the evolution of limestone gesneriad plastomes, we report nine complete plastomes of seven Primulina and two Petrocodon which have never been assembled before. The newly generated plastomes range from 152,323 to 153,786 bp in size and display a typical quadripartite structure. To further explore the plastome evolution across Gesneriaceae, we assembled five additional plastomes from public reads data and incorporated 38 complete Gesneriaceae plastomes available online into comparative and phylogenomic analyses. The comparison of 52 Gesneriaceae plastomes reveals that not only Primulina and Petrocodon but all gesneriad genera analyzed are highly conserved in genome size, genome structure, gene contents, IR boundary configurations, and codon usage bias. Additionally, sliding window analyses were implemented across alignments of Primulina and Petrocodon for identifying highly variable regions, providing informative markers for future studies. Meanwhile, the SSRs and long repeats of Gesneriaceae plastomes were characterized, serving as useful data in studying population and repetitive sequence evolutions. The results of plastome phylogenetics represent a preliminary but highly resolved maternal backbone genealogy of Primulina and the Old World subtribes of Gesneriaceae.