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      Global analysis of the MATE gene family of metabolite transporters in tomato

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          Species in the Solanaceae family are known for producing plethora of specialized metabolites. In addition to biosynthesis pathways, a full comprehension of secondary metabolism must also take into account the transport and subcellular compartmentalization of substances. Here, we examined the MATE (Multidrug and Toxic Compound Extrusion, or Multi-Antimicrobial Extrusion) gene family in the tomato ( Solanum lycopersicum) genome with the objective of better understanding the transport of secondary metabolites in this model species. MATE membrane effluxers encompass an ancient gene family of secondary transporters present in all kingdoms of life, but with a remarkable expansion in plants. They mediate the transport of primary and secondary metabolites using the proton motive force through several membrane systems of the cell.


          We identified 67 genes coding for MATE transporters in the tomato genome, 33 of which are expressed constitutively whereas 34 are expressed in specific cell types or environmental conditions. Synteny analyses revealed bona fide paralogs and Arabidopsis orthologs. Co-expression analysis between MATE and regulatory genes revealed 78 positive and 8 negative strong associations (ρ≥|0.8|). We found no evidence of MATE transporters belonging to known metabolic gene clusters in tomato.


          Altogether, our expression data, phylogenetic analyses, and synteny study provide strong evidence of functional homologies between MATE genes of tomato and Arabidopsis thaliana. Our co-expression study revealed potential transcriptional regulators of MATE genes that warrant further investigation. This work sets the stage for genome-wide functional analyses of MATE transporters in tomato and other Solanaceae species of economic relevance.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (10.1186/s12870-017-1115-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 83

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          Finding and comparing syntenic regions among Arabidopsis and the outgroups papaya, poplar, and grape: CoGe with rosids.

          In addition to the genomes of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and poplar (Populus trichocarpa), two near-complete rosid genome sequences, grape (Vitis vinifera) and papaya (Carica papaya), have been recently released. The phylogenetic relationship among these four genomes and the placement of their three independent, fractionated tetraploidies sum to a powerful comparative genomic system. CoGe, a platform of multiple whole or near-complete genome sequences, provides an integrative Web-based system to find and align syntenic chromosomal regions and visualize the output in an intuitive and interactive manner. CoGe has been customized to specifically support comparisons among the rosids. Crucial facts and definitions are presented to clearly describe the sorts of biological questions that might be answered in part using CoGe, including patterns of DNA conservation, accuracy of annotation, transposability of individual genes, subfunctionalization and/or fractionation of syntenic gene sets, and conserved noncoding sequence content. This précis of an online tutorial, CoGe with Rosids (, presents sample results graphically.
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            A gene in the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family confers aluminum tolerance in sorghum.

            Crop yields are significantly reduced by aluminum toxicity on highly acidic soils, which comprise up to 50% of the world's arable land. Candidate aluminum tolerance proteins include organic acid efflux transporters, with the organic acids forming non-toxic complexes with rhizosphere aluminum. In this study, we used positional cloning to identify the gene encoding a member of the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family, an aluminum-activated citrate transporter, as responsible for the major sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) aluminum tolerance locus, Alt(SB). Polymorphisms in regulatory regions of Alt(SB) are likely to contribute to large allelic effects, acting to increase Alt(SB) expression in the root apex of tolerant genotypes. Furthermore, aluminum-inducible Alt(SB) expression is associated with induction of aluminum tolerance via enhanced root citrate exudation. These findings will allow us to identify superior Alt(SB) haplotypes that can be incorporated via molecular breeding and biotechnology into acid soil breeding programs, thus helping to increase crop yields in developing countries where acidic soils predominate.
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              An aluminum-activated citrate transporter in barley.

              Soluble ionic aluminum (Al) inhibits root growth and reduces crop production on acid soils. Al-resistant cultivars of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) detoxify Al by secreting citrate from the roots, but the responsible gene has not been identified yet. Here, we identified a gene (HvAACT1) responsible for the Al-activated citrate secretion by fine mapping combined with microarray analysis, using an Al-resistant cultivar, Murasakimochi, and an Al-sensitive cultivar, Morex. This gene belongs to the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family and was constitutively expressed mainly in the roots of the Al-resistant barley cultivar. Heterologous expression of HvAACT1 in Xenopus oocytes showed efflux activity for (14)C-labeled citrate, but not for malate. Two-electrode voltage clamp analysis also showed transport activity of citrate in the HvAACT1-expressing oocytes in the presence of Al. Overexpression of this gene in tobacco enhanced citrate secretion and Al resistance compared with the wild-type plants. Transiently expressed green fluorescent protein-tagged HvAACT1 was localized at the plasma membrane of the onion epidermal cells, and immunostaining showed that HvAACT1 was localized in the epidermal cells of the barley root tips. A good correlation was found between the expression of HvAACT1 and citrate secretion in 10 barley cultivars differing in Al resistance. Taken together, our results demonstrate that HvAACT1 is an Al-activated citrate transporter responsible for Al resistance in barley.

                Author and article information

                +1-304-293-5434 ,
                BMC Plant Biol
                BMC Plant Biol
                BMC Plant Biology
                BioMed Central (London )
                30 October 2017
                30 October 2017
                : 17
                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 2156 6140, GRID grid.268154.c, Division of Plant and Soil Sciences, , West Virginia University, ; 3425 New Agricultural Sciences Building, Morgantown, WV 26506-6108 USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8816 9513, GRID grid.411269.9, Plant Molecular Physiology Laboratory, Biology Department, , Federal University of Lavras (UFLA), ; Lavras, MG Brazil
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0664 9773, GRID grid.59056.3f, Department of Biotechnology, , University of Calcutta, ; Kolkata, India
                [4 ]ISNI 0000 0004 1760 4804, GRID grid.411389.6, State Key Laboratory of Tea Plant Biology and Utilization, College of Tea and Food Sciences, , Anhui Agricultural University, ; Hefei, 230036 China
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Funded by: FundRef, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior;
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                © The Author(s) 2017


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