J Syst Evol

• Research Article •    

Expansions and contractions of the inverted repeat, as well as gene loss and potential pseudogenization shape plastome evolution in Hechtioideae (Bromeliaceae, Poales)

Ivón M. Ramírez‐Morillo1, Laura A. Espinosa‐Barrera1,2*, Carolina Granados Mendoza3, Sandra I. Vera‐Paz3,4, Daniel D. Díaz Contreras Díaz3,4, and Katya J. Romero‐Soler1,3*   

  1. 1 Unidad de Recursos Naturales, Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán A. C., Mérida 97205, Yucatán, Mexico;
    2 Laboratorio de Agrobiotecnología, Tecnoparque CLQ, Universidad de Colima, Colima 28629, Mexico;
    3 Departamento de Botánica, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510, Mexico;
    4 Posgrado en Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coyoacán, Mexico City 04510, Mexico
    *Authors for correspondence. Katya J. Romero‐Soler. E‐mail: katya.romero@st.ib.unam.mx/katya.soler@gmail.com; Laura A. Espinosa‐ Barrera. E‐mail: lauespinosaba@gmail.com
  • Received:2023-02-22 Accepted:2023-06-07 Online:2023-07-12

Abstract: Full plastomes have recently proven to be a valuable data source for resolving recalcitrant phylogenetic relationships in the flowering plant family Bromeliaceae. The study of complete plastomes has additionally led to the discovery of new structural rearrangements and advanced our understanding of bromeliad plastome diversity and evolution. Here, we focus on the study of full plastomes of the bromeliad subfamily Hechtioideae to assess phylogenetic relationships, marker informativeness, and plastome structure and evolution. Using whole‐genome sequencing data, we de novo assembled and annotated new plastid genomes of 19 Hechtioideae species plus one representative each from the Pitcairnioideae and Puyoideae subfamilies and compared them with four additional available plastomes from other bromeliad subfamilies. Our phylogenetic analysis using complete plastome sequences not only recovered the three currently recognized genera of Hechtioideae as monophyletic, strongly supporting Mesoamerantha as sister of Bakerantha and Hechtia, but also improved statistical support at different phylogenetic depths within the subfamily. We identified a set of highly informative loci, some of them explored for the first time in Hechtioideae. Structural rearrangements, including expansions and contractions of the inverted repeats, large inversions, and gene loss and potential pseudogenization were detected mainly within the genus Hechtia. Evolutionary trait rate shifts were associated with the size and guanine–cytosine content of the small single copy and inverted repeats.

Key words: Bromeliaceae, Hechtioideae, ndh gene family, phylogenetic informativeness, phylogenomics, plastid genome, structural rearrangements