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Molecules 2017, 22(2), 249;

Complete Chloroplast Genome of Medicinal Plant Lonicera japonica: Genome Rearrangement, Intron Gain and Loss, and Implications for Phylogenetic Studies

Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Derek J. McPhee
Received: 29 November 2016 / Revised: 28 January 2017 / Accepted: 29 January 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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The complete chloroplast (cp) genome of Lonicera japonica, a common ornamental and medicinal plant in North America and East Asia, was sequenced and analyzed. The length of the L. japonica cp genome is 155,078 bp, contains a pair of inverted repeat regions (IRa and IRb), of 23,774 bp each, as well as large (LSC, 88,858 bp) and small (SSC, 18,672 bp) single-copy regions. A total of 129 genes were identified in the cp genome, 16 of which were duplicated within the IR regions. Relative to other plant cp genomes, the L. japonica cp genome had a unique rearrangement between trnI-CAU and trnN-GUU. In L. japonica cpDNA, rps19, rpl2, and rpl23 move to the LSC region, from the IR region. The ycf1 pesudogene in the IR region is lost, and only one copy locates in the SSC region. Comparative cp DNA sequence analyses of L. japonica with other cp genomes reveal that the gene order, and the gene and intron contents, are slightly different. The introns in ycf2 and rps18 genes are found for the first time. Four genes (clpP, petB, petD, and rpl16) lost introns. However, its genome structure, GC content, and codon usage were similar to those of typical angiosperm cp genomes. All preferred synonymous codons were found to use codons ending with A/T. The AT-rich sequences were less abundant in the coding regions than in the non-coding ones. A phylogenetic analysis based on 71 protein-coding genes supported the idea that L. japonica is a sister of the Araliaceae species. This study identified unique characteristics of the L. japonica cp genome that contribute to our understanding of the cpDNA evolution. It offers valuable information for the phylogenetic and specific barcoding of this medicinal plant. View Full-Text
Keywords: Lonicera japonica; chloroplast genome; contraction Lonicera japonica; chloroplast genome; contraction

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He, L.; Qian, J.; Li, X.; Sun, Z.; Xu, X.; Chen, S. Complete Chloroplast Genome of Medicinal Plant Lonicera japonica: Genome Rearrangement, Intron Gain and Loss, and Implications for Phylogenetic Studies. Molecules 2017, 22, 249.

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