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Title: Evolutional dynamics of 45S and 5S ribosomal DNA in ancient allohexaploid Atropa belladonna
Authors: Volkov, Roman A.
Panchuk, Irina I.
Borisjuk, Nikolai V.
Hosiawa-Barańska, Marta
Małuszyńska, Jolanta
Hemleben, Vera
Keywords: Ribosomal DNA; Concerted evolution; Homogenization; Polyploidy; Solanaceae
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: BMC Plant Biology, Vol. 17 (2017), art. no 21
Abstract: Background: Polyploid hybrids represent a rich natural resource to study molecular evolution of plant genes and genomes. Here, we applied a combination of karyological and molecular methods to investigate chromosomal structure, molecular organization and evolution of ribosomal DNA (rDNA) in nightshade, Atropa belladonna (fam. Solanaceae), one of the oldest known allohexaploids among flowering plants. Because of their abundance and specific molecular organization (evolutionarily conserved coding regions linked to variable intergenic spacers, IGS), 45S and 5S rDNA are widely used in plant taxonomic and evolutionary studies. Results: Molecular cloning and nucleotide sequencing of A. belladonna 45S rDNA repeats revealed a general structure characteristic of other Solanaceae species, and a very high sequence similarity of two length variants, with the only difference in number of short IGS subrepeats. These results combined with the detection of three pairs of 45S rDNA loci on separate chromosomes, presumably inherited from both tetraploid and diploid ancestor species, example intensive sequence homogenization that led to substitution/elimination of rDNA repeats of one parent. Chromosome silver-staining revealed that only four out of six 45S rDNA sites are frequently transcriptionally active, demonstrating nucleolar dominance. For 5S rDNA, three size variants of repeats were detected, with the major class represented by repeats containing all functional IGS elements required for transcription, the intermediate size repeats containing partially deleted IGS sequences, and the short 5S repeats containing severe defects both in the IGS and coding sequences. While shorter variants demonstrate increased rate of based substitution, probably in their transition into pseudogenes, the functional 5S rDNA variants are nearly identical at the sequence level, pointing to their origin from a single parental species. Localization of the 5S rDNA genes on two chromosome pairs further supports uniparental inheritance from the tetraploid progenitor. Conclusions: The obtained molecular, cytogenetic and phylogenetic data demonstrate complex evolutionary dynamics of rDNA loci in allohexaploid species of Atropa belladonna. The high level of sequence unification revealed in 45S and 5S rDNA loci of this ancient hybrid species have been seemingly achieved by different molecular mechanisms.
DOI: 10.1186/s12870-017-0978-6
ISSN: 1471-2229
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