Evolution of genome size and GC content in Droseraceae

Previous studies have suggested that carnivory and holokinetic chromosomes might be associated with genome downsizing in plants. Veleba et al. analysed genome evolution in sundews (Droseraceae), a widespread genus that uniquely combines chromosomal holokinetics with carnivory, and their relatives to show that this trend is not universally true.

Drosera / Sundew.
Drosera / Sundew.

An analysis of genomic parameters and their relationship to climatic niches was undertaken for 71 Droseracae species using flow cytometry and phylogenetic methods to show that the evolution of genomic GC content is inextricably linked with genome size and with environmental conditions such as annual temperature fluctuations. The negative correlation between genome size and chromosome number suggests that karyotype evolution for Australian sundews may be propelled by holokinetic drive.

Reference List

Veleba, A., Šmarda, P., Zedek, F., Horová, L., Šmerda, J., & Bureš, P. (2017). Evolution of genome size and genomic GC content in carnivorous holokinetics (Droseraceae) Annals of Botany, 119 (3), 409-416 DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw229