Differences in Evolution Rates among Eudicotyledon Species Observed by Analysis of Protein Divergence

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Genome evolution rates can vary considerably among plants. In particular, a correlation has often been reported between the evolution rate and annual/perennial habit, possibly associated with differences in generation time. For example, among the rosid species whose genome is fully sequenced, Vitis vinifera, a perennial species, was shown to have the genome that evolved the slowest. In order to extend knowledge of evolution rates to the asterid clade, one of the two major clades of core eudicotyledonous, the protein evolution rates in three asterid species, one perennial (Coffea canephora) and two annual species (Solanum lycopersicum and Mimulus guttatus), were investigated and compared with V. vinifera. Significant differences were observed among these species, and the proteins that evolved the most slowly were those of V. vinifera. Among the species belonging to the asterid clade, C. canephora appears to have evolved more slowly than the others. These findings are consistent with a correlation between perennial habit and slow evolution rates. The C. canephora genome seems to be an appropriate model for paleogenomic studies of asterids.

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