The chloroplast genome of Phacus orbicularis (Euglenophyceae): an initial datum point for the phacaceae

Beth A. Kasiborski, Matthew S. Bennett, Eric W. Linton

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The Euglenophyceae chloroplast was acquired when a heterotrophic euglenoid engulfed a green alga and subsequently retained the algal chloroplast, in a process known as secondary endosymbiosis. Since this event, Euglenophyceae have diverged widely and their chloroplast genomes (cpGenomes) have as well. Changes to the cpGenome include extensive gene rearrangement and the proliferation of introns, the analyses of which have proven to be useful in examining cpGenome changes throughout the Euglenophyceae. The Euglenales fall into two families, Euglenaceae and Phacaceae. Euglenaceae contains eight genera and at least one cpGenome has been published for each genus. Phacaceae, on the other hand, contains three genera, none of which have had a representative chloroplast genome sequenced. Members of this family have many small disk-shaped chloroplasts that lack pyrenoids. We sequenced and annotated the cpGenome of Phacus orbicularis in order to fill in the large gap in our understanding of Euglenophyceae cpGenome evolution, especially in regard to intron number and gene order. We compared this cpGenome to those of species from both the Euglenaceae and Eutreptiales of the Euglenophyceae phylogenetic tree. The cpGenome showed characteristics that were more derived than that of the basal species Eutreptia viridis, with extensive gene rearrangements and nearly three times as many introns. In contrast, it contained fewer introns than all but one of the previously reported Euglenaceae cpGenomes, had a smaller estimated genome size, and shared greater synteny with two main branches of that family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-411
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Phycology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Euglenophyceae
  • Phacaceae
  • Phacus orbicularis
  • chloroplast genome
  • comparative genomics
  • euglenophyta


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