BMC Plant Biology (Dec 2022)

Chloroplast gene expression level is negatively correlated with evolutionary rates and selective pressure while positively with codon usage bias in Ophioglossum vulgatum L

  • Jing Hao,
  • Yingyi Liang,
  • Jingyao Ping,
  • Jinye Li,
  • Wanxin Shi,
  • Yingjuan Su,
  • Ting Wang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 1
pp. 1 – 13


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Abstract Background Characterization of the key factors determining gene expression level has been of significant interest. Previous studies on the relationship among evolutionary rates, codon usage bias, and expression level mostly focused on either nuclear genes or unicellular/multicellular organisms but few in chloroplast (cp) genes. Ophioglossum vulgatum is a unique fern and has important scientific and medicinal values. In this study, we sequenced its cp genome and transcriptome to estimate the evolutionary rates (dN and dS), selective pressure (dN/dS), gene expression level, codon usage bias, and their correlations. Results The correlation coefficients between dN, dS, and dN/dS, and Transcripts Per Million (TPM) average values were -0.278 (P = 0.027 < 0.05), -0.331 (P = 0.008 < 0.05), and -0.311 (P = 0.013 < 0.05), respectively. The codon adaptation index (CAI) and tRNA adaptation index (tAI) were significantly positively correlated with TPM average values (P < 0.05). Conclusions Our results indicated that when the gene expression level was higher, the evolutionary rates and selective pressure were lower, but the codon usage bias was stronger. We provided evidence from cp gene data which supported the E-R (E stands for gene expression level and R stands for evolutionary rate) anti-correlation.