Journal Article

Differential DNA Rearrangements of Plastid Genes, <i>psbA</i> and <i>psbD</i>, in Two Species of the Dinoflagellate <i>Alexandrium</i>

Satoko Iida, Atsushi Kobiyama, Takehiko Ogata and Akio Murakami

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 51, issue 11, pages 1869-1877
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online October 2010 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcq152
Differential DNA Rearrangements of Plastid Genes, psbA and psbD, in Two Species of the Dinoflagellate Alexandrium

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Plastomes of the peridinin-containing dinoflagellates are composed of a limited number of genes, which are carried individually on small circular molecules, termed ‘minicircles’. Although the prevalent plastid chromosome of most algae and plants has only a single copy of each gene, our previous study showed that low copy numbers of multiple variants of the gene psbA co-exist with the ‘ordinary’ gene encoding the D1 protein in minicircles of Alexandrium tamarense. Although none of the psbA variants encoded the entire protein, they persisted in culture. In this study, we compared the distribution and structure of psbA and psbD variants in two species of Alexandrium to characterize DNA rearrangement within these genes. In addition to four previously reported psbA variants, three psbD variants were found in A. tamarense minicircles. The ordinary psbA and psbD genes also co-existed with variants in another species, A. catenella. The sequences of the ordinary genes were virtually identical in the two species. All the variants comprised insertion or deletion mutations, with no base substitutions being identified. Duplicated parts of the coding sequences were contained in most of the insertions. Short direct repeats (4–14 bp) and/or adenine + thymine-rich motifs were present in all mutation regions, although the position and/or the sequence of each DNA rearrangement was unique to each variant. The results indicated that replication-based repeat-mediated recombination was responsible for generation of the variants.

Keywords: Adenine + thymine-rich; Alexandrium; Direct repeats; Minicircle; PSII; Recombination

Journal Article.  4739 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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