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Early evolutionary colocalization of the nuclear ribosomal 5S and 45S gene families in seed plants: evidence from the living fossil gymnosperm Ginkgo biloba.

Authors
  • Galián, J A
  • Rosato, M
  • Rosselló, J A
Type
Published Article
Journal
Heredity
Publisher
Springer Nature
Publication Date
Jun 01, 2012
Volume
108
Issue
6
Pages
640–646
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/hdy.2012.2
PMID: 22354111
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In seed plants, the colocalization of the 5S loci within the intergenic spacer (IGS) of the nuclear 45S tandem units is restricted to the phylogenetically derived Asteraceae family. However, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) colocalization of both multigene families has also been observed in other unrelated seed plant lineages. Previous work has identified colocalization of 45S and 5S loci in Ginkgo biloba using FISH, but these observations have not been confirmed recently by sequencing a 1.8 kb IGS. In this work, we report the presence of the 45S-5S linkage in G. biloba, suggesting that in seed plants the molecular events leading to the restructuring of the ribosomal loci are much older than estimated previously. We obtained a 6.0 kb IGS fragment showing structural features of functional sequences, and a single copy of the 5S gene was inserted in the same direction of transcription as the ribosomal RNA genes. We also obtained a 1.8 kb IGS that was a truncate variant of the 6.0 kb IGS lacking the 5S gene. Several lines of evidence strongly suggest that the 1.8 kb variants are pseudogenes that are present exclusively on the satellite chromosomes bearing the 45S-5S genes. The presence of ribosomal IGS pseudogenes best reconciles contradictory results concerning the presence or absence of the 45S-5S linkage in Ginkgo. Our finding that both ribosomal gene families have been unified to a single 45S-5S unit in Ginkgo indicates that an accurate reassessment of the organization of rDNA genes in basal seed plants is necessary.

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