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Diversity of Organellar Genomes in Non-photosynthetic Diatoms

Kamikawa, Ryoma, Azuma, Tomonori, Ishii, Ken-ichiro, Matsuno, Yusei, Miyashita, Hideaki
Protist 2018 v.169 no.3 pp. 351-361
H+/K+-exchanging ATPase, H-transporting ATP synthase, Nitzschia, RNA, biosynthesis, gene deletion, genes, mitochondrial genome, nutrient requirements, photosynthesis, plastid genome, thiamin
We determined the complete sequences of the plastid and mitochondrial genomes of three non-photosynthetic Nitzschia spp., as well as those of a photosynthetic close relative, Nitzschia palea. All the plastid genomes and the three mitochondrial genomes determined were found to be circularly mapping, and the other mitochondrial genomes were predicted to be of a linear form with telomere-like structures at both ends. We found that all the non-photosynthetic plastid genomes are streamlined and lack a common gene set: two RNA genes, and 60 protein-coding genes, most of which are related to photosynthetic functions. Nevertheless, the non-photosynthetic plastid genomes commonly retain ATP synthase complex genes, although atpE is missing in Nitzschia sp. NIES-3581 and three other non-photosynthetic species lack atpF instead of atpE. This observation suggests an evolutionary constraint against the loss of ATP synthase complex genes. All the non-photosynthetic diatom plastid genomes lacked two genes, thiS and thiG, involved in thiamin biosynthesis. Consistent with this gene loss, non-photosynthetic Nitzschia spp. were incapable of thriving in vitamin B1-lacking media. This study clearly demonstrated not only the evolutionary trends of plastid genome reduction but also the linkage between plastid genome reduction and a biological change of nutrient requirements in Nitzschia.