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Open Access Research article

Mitochondrial genome sequencing helps show the evolutionary mechanism of mitochondrial genome formation in Brassica

Shengxin Chang1, Tiantian Yang1, Tongqing Du1, Yongjuan Huang1, Jianmei Chen1, Jiyong Yan2, Jianbo He1 and Rongzhan Guan1*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, PR China

2 Institute of Vegetable Crops, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, PR China

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BMC Genomics 2011, 12:497  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-497

Published: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Angiosperm mitochondrial genomes are more complex than those of other organisms. Analyses of the mitochondrial genome sequences of at least 11 angiosperm species have showed several common properties; these cannot easily explain, however, how the diverse mitotypes evolved within each genus or species. We analyzed the evolutionary relationships of Brassica mitotypes by sequencing.

Results

We sequenced the mitotypes of cam (Brassica rapa), ole (B. oleracea), jun (B. juncea), and car (B. carinata) and analyzed them together with two previously sequenced mitotypes of B. napus (pol and nap). The sizes of whole single circular genomes of cam, jun, ole, and car are 219,747 bp, 219,766 bp, 360,271 bp, and 232,241 bp, respectively. The mitochondrial genome of ole is largest as a resulting of the duplication of a 141.8 kb segment. The jun mitotype is the result of an inherited cam mitotype, and pol is also derived from the cam mitotype with evolutionary modifications. Genes with known functions are conserved in all mitotypes, but clear variation in open reading frames (ORFs) with unknown functions among the six mitotypes was observed. Sequence relationship analysis showed that there has been genome compaction and inheritance in the course of Brassica mitotype evolution.

Conclusions

We have sequenced four Brassica mitotypes, compared six Brassica mitotypes and suggested a mechanism for mitochondrial genome formation in Brassica, including evolutionary events such as inheritance, duplication, rearrangement, genome compaction, and mutation.