Remarkably conserved plastid genomes of Quercus Group Cerris in China: comparative and phylogenetic analyses

3 July 2018

Yang, Yanci; Hu, Yiheng; Ren, Ting; Sun, Jingjing; Zhao, Guifang

Quercus is one of the most important genera for considering its economic and ecological values, with approximately 500 species worldwide. Quercus group Cerris is endemic to Eurasia (including 11 species), and three species (Quercus acutissima, Quercus chenii and Quercus variabilis) are widely distributed in China. Here, we sequenced the complete plastid genomes of Q. acutissima and Q. chenii by Illumina pair-end sequencing, and obtained an additional plastome of Q. variabilis from GenBank. Although geographically distant sampling, the three plastomes in group Cerris were remarkably conserved with regard to genome size, gene organization, GC content, and IR/SC boundary regions. The phylogenetic analysis showed that group Cerris nested in group Ilex, forming a Cerris-Ilex clade. The current study provided plastid genomic-scale data for the less intensively studied group Cerris, which would be useful for studying speciation processes, geographical structure and phylogeny within the group Cerris in the future.