Lack of complete chloroplast genome sequences is still one of the major limitations to extending chloroplast genetic engineering technology to useful crops. Therefore, we sequenced the soybean chloroplast genome and compared it to the other completely sequenced legumes, Lotus and Medicago. The chloroplast genome of Glycine is 152,218 basepairs (bp) in length, including a pair of inverted repeats of 25,574 bp of identical sequence separated by a small single copy region of 17,895 bp and a large single copy region of 83,175 bp. The genome contains 111 unique genes, and 19 of these are duplicated in the inverted repeat (IR). Comparisons of Glycine, Lotus and Medicago confirm the organization of legume chloroplast genomes based on previous studies. Gene content of the three legumes is nearly identical. The rpl22 gene is missing from all three legumes, and Medicago is missing rps16 and one copy of the IR. Gene order in Glycine, Lotus, and Medicago differs from the usual gene order for angiosperm chloroplast genomes by the presence of a single, large inversion of 51 kilobases (kb). Detailed analyses of repeated sequences indicate that many of the Glycine repeats that are located in the intergenic spacer regions and introns occur in the same location in the other legumes and in Arabidopsis, suggesting that they may play some functional role. The presence of small repeats of psbA and rbcL in legumes that have lost one copy of the IR indicate that this loss has only occurred once during the evolutionary history of legumes.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 17, 2005
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