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Fructosyltransferase and invertase genes evolved by gene duplication and rearrangements: rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat gene families

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The invertase enzyme family is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism in rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat. Fructan molecules accumulate in cell vacuoles of perennial ryegrass and wheat and are associated with abiotic stress tolerance. High levels of amino acid similarity between the fructosyltransferases responsible for fructan accumulation indicates that they may have evolved from invertase-like ancestral genes. In this study, we have applied comparative genomics to determine the mechanisms that lead to the evolution of fructosytransferase and invertase genes in rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat. Duplications and rearrangements have been inferred to generate variant forms of the rice invertases since divergence from a common grass progenitor. The occurrence of multiple copies of fructosyltransferase genes indicated that duplication events continued during evolution of the wheat and perennial ryegrass lineages. Further gene rearrangements were evident in perennial ryegrass genes, albeit at a reduced level compared with the rice invertases. Gene orthologs were largely static after duplication during evolution of the wheat lineage. This study details evolutionary events that contribute to fructosyltransferase and invertase gene variation in grasses.

La famille des invertases est responsable du métabolisme carboné chez le riz, le ray-grass vivace et le blé. Les fructanes s’accumulent dans les vacuoles cellulaires chez le ray-grass vivace ainsi que le blé et elles sont associées à la résistance aux stress abiotiques. Une similarité élevée des séquences peptidiques entre les fructosyltransférases responsables de l’accumulation des fructanes indique qu’elles pourraient dériver de gènes ancestraux ressemblant à des invertases. Dans ce travail, les auteurs ont utilisé une approche de génomique comparée pour déterminer les mécanismes ayant mené à l’évolution des fructosyltransférases et des invertases chez le riz, le ray-grass vivace et le blé. Des duplications et des réarrangements ont été inférés comme ayant produit des variantes des invertases du riz depuis la divergence d’une espèce ancestrale commune. L’existence de plusieurs copies des gènes de fructosyltransférases indique que les duplications se seraient poursuivies au cours de l’évolution du blé et du ray-grass. Des réarrangements additionnels sont évidents dans les gènes du ray-grass vivace bien qu’à un degré moindre que chez les invertases du riz. Les orthologues étaient largement statiques après la duplication au cours de l’évolution du blé. Cette étude décrit les événements qui ont contribué, au cours de l’évolution, à la variation génique au sein des fructosyltransférases et les invertases chez les graminées.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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  • From its inception in 1957, this international cytogenetics journal has catered to the research areas of the members of the Genetics Society of Canada; traditionally, these have included agriculture, entomology, genetics/cytogenetics, and evolutionary mechanisms. The contents of the journal have evolved as contributors developed new technologies and interests. A 20-member Editorial Board is composed of scientists from around the world. Reviews and commentary from respected experts are often featured.
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