Herb epimediiis Epimedium plants of Berberidaceae, and is one of the most commonly used Chinese herbal medicines, which has been verified with curative effectsfor many diseases. At present, Herb epimedii is mainly collected from the wild resource, and has questions of confusion of botanical origin and being rather spotty. Chloroplast (cp) genomes can be used to accurately identify plants and study the evolutionary relationships at almost any taxonomic level. However, there is no report about cp genome of Chinese Epimedium species.
Led by Prof. WANG Ying, associate professor ZHANG Yanjun from Wuhan Botanical Garden and Prof. Tae-Jin Yang from Seoul National University firstly sequenced the cp genomes of four Epimedium species from China.
Combing with the cp genome of E. koreanum from Korea, the first comprehensive cp genome analysis on Epimedium was conducted. The results showed that there were obvious variations at the expansion and contraction of the inverted repeat (IR) regions among different Epimedium species. The trnQ-UUG duplication occurred in cp genomes of Epimedium, which was not found in the other basal eudicotyledons. The rapidly evolving DNA regions were detected in Epimedium cp genome, as well as the difference of simple sequence repeats (SSR) and repeat sequence were identified.
Based on the cp genomes of five Epimedium species, the phylogenetic relationships among them were in accordance with the updated system of the genus on the whole, but the evolutionary relationships and the divisions of the genus needed further investigation.
The availability of these cp genomes provides valuable genetic information for species identification, taxonomy and phylogenetic resolution and evolution of Epimedium, and assist in exploring and utilizing the Epimedium plants.
The findings have been published online on Frontiers in Plant Science with the title of “The complete chloroplast genome sequences of five Epimedium species: lights into phylogenetic and taxonomic analyses”.
This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF funded by the Korean government, MSIP.
Comparisons of LSC, SSC, and IR region borders among the five Epimedium chloroplast genomes (Image by ZHANG Yanjun)
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