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Structural characterization of four Rhododendron spp. chloroplast genomes and comparative analyses with other azaleas


1 Life Science College, Luoyang Normal University, Luoyang, 471934, China
2 College of Life Science and Technology, Henan Institute of Science and Technology, Xinxiang, 453003, China

* Corresponding Author: Xiaojun Zhou, email

(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Advances in Plant Cell Biology Research)

BIOCELL 2023, 47(3), 657-668.


Azalea is a general designation of Rhododendron in the Ericaceae family. Rhododendron not only has high ornamental value but also has application value in ecological protection, medicine, and scientific research. In this study, we used Illumina and PacBio sequencing to assemble and annotate the entire chloroplast genomes (cp genomes) of four Rhododendron species. The chloroplast genomes of R. concinnum, R. henanense subsp. lingbaoense, R. micranthum, and R. simsii were assembled into 207,236, 208,015, 207,233, and 206,912 bp, respectively. All chloroplast genomes contain eight rRNA genes, with either 88 or 89 protein-coding genes. The four cp genomes were compared and analyzed by bioinformatics, and the phylogenetic analysis based on chloroplast genomes of 26 species of Ericaceae, Actinidiaceae, and Primulaceae under Ericales was conducted. A comparison of the linear structure of cp genomes of four Rhododendron showed that there were substantial sequence similarities in coding regions, but high differences in non-coding regions. A phylogenetic analysis, based on chloroplast whole genome sequences, showed that all Rhododendron species are in the clade Ericaceae. This study provides valuable genetic information for the study of population genetics and evolutionary relationships in Rhododendron and other azalea species.


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ZHOU, X., LIU, M., SONG, L. (2023). Structural characterization of four Rhododendron spp. chloroplast genomes and comparative analyses with other azaleas. BIOCELL, 47(3), 657–668.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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