The genus Asparagus consists of 100-300 species of both dioecious and hermaphrodite plants. Since there are diploid, tetraploid, and hexaploid plants in this genus, RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism) analysis of chloroplast DNA (ctDNA) is suitable for examining the phylogenetic relationships. We have constructed a physical map of the ctDNA of garden asparagus (A. officinalis L. cv 'Mary Washington 500W') using five restriction endonucleases, namely, BamHI, PstI, SalI, HindIII, and XhoI. Asparagus ctDNA was digested with restriction enzymes and cloned into plasmid and λ phage vectors, and a clone bank was constructed that covered 70% of the genome. A physical map was constructed by Southern hybridization of total DNA from asparagus with homologous and heterologous probes. The asparagus ctDNA was about 155 kb long and it contained two inverted repeats (23kb each) separated by a large single-copy region (90kb) and a small single- copy region (19 kb). Fifteen genes, encoding photosynthesis-related proteins, rDNAs, and tRNAs, were localized on the physical map of asparagus ctDNA. Comparing the length and the gene order of asparagus ctDNA with that of other plants, we found that asparagus ctDNA was similar to tobacco ctDNA but different from rice ctDNA. The restriction patterns of the ctDNAs from several varieties of A. officinalis and three species of Asparagus were analyzed. The restriction patterns of the varieties of A. officinalis were very similar, but polymorphisms were detected among the three species of Asparagus.
ASJC Scopus subject areas