KAUST DepartmentRed Sea Research Center (RSRC)
Biological and Environmental Sciences and Engineering (BESE) Division
Marine Science Program
Reef Genomics Lab
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AbstractDinoflagellate algae of the genus Symbiodinium form important symbioses within corals and other benthic marine animals. Dinoflagellates possess an extremely reduced plastid genome relative to those examined in plants and other algae. In dinoflagellates the plastid genes are located on small plasmids, commonly referred to as 'minicircles'. However, the chloroplast genomes of dinoflagellates have only been extensively characterised from a handful of species. There is also evidence of considerable variation in the chloroplast genome organisation across those species that have been examined. We therefore characterised the chloroplast genome from an environmental coral isolate, in this case containing a symbiont belonging to the Symbiodinium sp. clade C3. The gene content of the genome is well conserved with respect to previously characterised genomes. However, unlike previously characterised dinoflagellate chloroplast genomes we did not identify any 'empty' minicircles. The sequences of this chloroplast genome show a high rate of evolution relative to other algal species. Particularly notable was a surprisingly high level of sequence divergence within the core polypeptides of photosystem I, the reasons for which are currently unknown. This chloroplast genome also possesses distinctive codon usage and GC content. These features suggest that chloroplast genomes in Symbiodinium are highly plastic. © 2013 Adrian C. Barbrook.
SponsorsThe authors wish to thank Professor Angela Douglas for the gift of the DNA extract used in this study. The authors also wish to thank Daniel J. Thornhilland Todd J. LaJeunesse for providing assistance inphylogenetic assignment of the Symbiodinium isolate. This work was funded through a grant from the Cambridge - KAUST Academic Excellence Alliance (AEA) program (award number 7000000056) as well as by the Leverhulme Trust.
- The remarkable chloroplast genome of dinoflagellates.
- Authors: Howe CJ, Nisbet RE, Barbrook AC
- Issue date: 2008
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- Authors: Jeong HJ, Lee SY, Kang NS, Yoo YD, Lim AS, Lee MJ, Kim HS, Yih W, Yamashita H, LaJeunesse TC
- Issue date: 2014 Jan-Feb
- Molecular diversity of dinoflagellate symbionts of Cnidaria: the psbA minicircle of Symbiodinium.
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- Issue date: 2006 Nov 23
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