PLoS ONE, vol.17, no.6 June, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022 Cay et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.Crocus istanbulensis (B.Mathew) Rukšāns is one of the most endangered Crocus species in the world and has an extremely limited distribution range in Istanbul. Our recent field work indicates that no more than one hundred individuals remain in the wild. In the present study, we used genome skimming to determine the complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequences of six C. istanbulensis individuals collected from the locus classicus. The cp genome of C. istanbulensis has 151,199 base pairs (bp), with a large single-copy (LSC) (81,197 bp), small single copy (SSC) (17,524 bp) and two inverted repeat (IR) regions of 26,236 bp each. The cp genome contains 132 genes, of which 86 are protein-coding (PCGs), 8 are rRNA and 38 are tRNA genes. Most of the repeats are found in intergenic spacers of Crocus species. Mononucleotide repeats were most abundant, accounting for over 80% of total repeats. The cp genome contained four palindrome repeats and one forward repeat. Comparative analyses among other Iridaceae species identified one inversion in the terminal positions of LSC region and three different gene (psbA, rps3 and rpl22) arrangements in C. istanbulensis that were not reported previously. To measure selective pressure in the exons of chloroplast coding sequences, we performed a sequence analysis of plastome-encoded genes. A total of seven genes (accD, rpoC2, psbK, rps12, ccsA, clpP and ycf2) were detected under positive selection in the cp genome. Alignment-free sequence comparison showed an extremely low sequence diversity across naturally occurring C. istanbulensis specimens. All six sequenced individuals shared the same cp haplotype. In summary, this study will aid further research on the molecular evolution and development of ex situ conservation strategies of C. istanbulensis.