Research Article

Cytoplasmic polymorphism and evolutionary history of plum cultivars: Insights from chloroplast DNA sequence variation of trnL-trnF spacer and aggregated trnL intron & trnL-trnF spacer

Published: April 27, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (2) : 3964-3979 DOI: 10.4238/2015.April.27.11

Abstract

We screened for polymorphisms of the non-coding region of plastid DNA in plum trees. Sequencing data from the trnL-trnF chloroplast region were used to reveal a pattern of diversity, establish phylogenetic relationships, and test the selection pressure or evolutionary demography scenario for plastome DNA. The size of the non-coding regions varied from 398 to 563 and 865 to 1084 bases pairs for the trnL-trnF spacer and combined sequences, respectively. The average GC contents were 33.8 and 34.4% in the spacer and pooled sequences, respectively. Genetic distances calculated within the plums were 0.077 and 0.254, on average, for the trnL spacer and combined sequences, respectively. The neighbor-joining trees showed clustering relationships among cultivars that were independent of their geographic origins and designations. The neutrality tests and site-frequency spectra indicated that spacer and pooled sequences fit the neutral theory model at equilibrium between mutation and genetic drift and reject the hypothesis of a recent demographic expansion. The mismatch distribution shows variation patterns, thus providing evidence of an important genetic diversity explained by an excess of intermediate variants that occurred in the sequences analyzed. Further implications of the findings with regard to plum germplasm management and its utilization in breeding programs are also discussed.

We screened for polymorphisms of the non-coding region of plastid DNA in plum trees. Sequencing data from the trnL-trnF chloroplast region were used to reveal a pattern of diversity, establish phylogenetic relationships, and test the selection pressure or evolutionary demography scenario for plastome DNA. The size of the non-coding regions varied from 398 to 563 and 865 to 1084 bases pairs for the trnL-trnF spacer and combined sequences, respectively. The average GC contents were 33.8 and 34.4% in the spacer and pooled sequences, respectively. Genetic distances calculated within the plums were 0.077 and 0.254, on average, for the trnL spacer and combined sequences, respectively. The neighbor-joining trees showed clustering relationships among cultivars that were independent of their geographic origins and designations. The neutrality tests and site-frequency spectra indicated that spacer and pooled sequences fit the neutral theory model at equilibrium between mutation and genetic drift and reject the hypothesis of a recent demographic expansion. The mismatch distribution shows variation patterns, thus providing evidence of an important genetic diversity explained by an excess of intermediate variants that occurred in the sequences analyzed. Further implications of the findings with regard to plum germplasm management and its utilization in breeding programs are also discussed.