Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tulip tree reveals mitochondrial genome of ancestral flowering plant

Date:
April 15, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
The extraordinary level of conservation of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) mitochondrial genome has redefined our interpretation of evolution of the angiosperms (flowering plants). This beautiful ‘molecular fossil’ has a remarkably slow mutation rate meaning that its mitochondrial genome has remained largely unchanged since the dinosaurs were roaming Earth.

The extraordinary level of conservation of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) mitochondrial genome has redefined our interpretation of evolution of the angiosperms (flowering plants), finds new research.
Credit: Gary Cote

The extraordinary level of conservation of the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) mitochondrial genome has redefined our interpretation of evolution of the angiosperms (flowering plants), finds research in biomed Central's open access journal BMC Biology. This beautiful 'molecular fossil' has a remarkably slow mutation rate meaning that its mitochondrial genome has remained largely unchanged since the dinosaurs were roaming the Earth.

Related Articles


Evolutionary studies make used of mitochondrial (powerhouse) genomes to identify maternal lineages, for example the human mitochondrial Eve. Among plants, the lack of genomic data from lineages which split away from the main evolutionary branch early on has prevented researchers from reconstructing patterns of genome evolution.

L. tulipifera is native to North America. It belongs to a more unusual group of dicotyledons (plants with two seed leaves) known as magnoliids, which are thought to have diverged early in the evolution of flowing plants.

By sequencing the mitochondrial genome of L. tulipifera, researchers from Indiana University and University of Arkansas discovered that its mitochondrial genome has one of the slowest silent mutation rates (ones which do not affect gene function) of any known genome. Compared to humans the rate is 2000 times slower -- the amount of genomic change in a single human generation would take 50,000 years for the tulip tree. The rate is even slower for magnolia trees, taking 130,000 years for the same amount of mitochondrial genomic change.

Ancestral gene clusters and tRNA genes have been preserved and L. tulipifera still contains many genes lost during the subsequent 200 million years of evolution of flowering plants. In fact one tRNA gene is no longer present in any other sequenced angiosperm.

Prof Jeffrey Palmer who led this study explained, "By using the tulip tree as a guide we are able to estimate that the ancestral angiosperm mitochondrial genome contained 41 protein genes, 14 tRNA genes, seven tRNA genes sequestered from chloroplasts, and more than 700 sites of protein editing. Based on this, it appears that the genome has been more-or-less frozen in time for millions and millions of years."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Aaron O Richardson, Danny W Rice, Gregory J Young, Andrew J Alverson, Jeffrey D Palmer. The "fossilized" mitochondrial genome of Liriodendron tulipifera: Ancestral gene content and order, ancestral editing sites, and extraordinarily low mutation rate. BMC Biology, 2013; 11 (1): 29 DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-11-29
  2. Ian Small. Mitochondrial genomes as living ‘fossils’. BMC Biology, 2013; 11 (1): 30 DOI: 10.1186/1741-7007-11-30

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Tulip tree reveals mitochondrial genome of ancestral flowering plant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415100010.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, April 15). Tulip tree reveals mitochondrial genome of ancestral flowering plant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415100010.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Tulip tree reveals mitochondrial genome of ancestral flowering plant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130415100010.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) Industrious 3D printed bionic ants working together could toil in the factories of the future, says German technology company Festo. The robotic insects cooperate and coordinate their actions and movements to achieve a common aim. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Captive-Born Panda Triplets Are Eight Months Old

Captive-Born Panda Triplets Are Eight Months Old

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) The world&apos;s only surviving captivity-born panda triplets turn eight months old, according to China’s state media. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Lions have made a comeback in southeast Gabon, after disappearing for years, according to live footage from US wildlife organisation Panthera. Duration: 00:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Fragments of pottery used by Egyptians to make beer and dating back 5,000 years have been discovered on a building site in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Sunday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins