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      Soybean ( Glycine max) expansin gene superfamily origins: segmental and tandem duplication events followed by divergent selection among subfamilies

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          Abstract

          Background

          Expansins are plant cell wall loosening proteins that are involved in cell enlargement and a variety of other developmental processes. The expansin superfamily contains four subfamilies; namely, α-expansin (EXPA), β-expansin (EXPB), expansin-like A (EXLA), and expansin-like B (EXLB). Although the genome sequencing of soybeans is complete, our knowledge about the pattern of expansion and evolutionary history of soybean expansin genes remains limited.

          Results

          A total of 75 expansin genes were identified in the soybean genome, and grouped into four subfamilies based on their phylogenetic relationships. Structural analysis revealed that the expansin genes are conserved in each subfamily, but are divergent among subfamilies. Furthermore, in soybean and Arabidopsis, the expansin gene family has been mainly expanded through tandem and segmental duplications; however, in rice, segmental duplication appears to be the dominant process that generates this superfamily. The transcriptome atlas revealed notable differential expression in either transcript abundance or expression patterns under normal growth conditions. This finding was consistent with the differential distribution of the cis-elements in the promoter region, and indicated wide functional divergence in this superfamily. Moreover, some critical amino acids that contribute to functional divergence and positive selection were detected. Finally, site model and branch-site model analysis of positive selection indicated that the soybean expansin gene superfamily is under strong positive selection, and that divergent selection constraints might have influenced the evolution of the four subfamilies.

          Conclusion

          This study demonstrated that the soybean expansin gene superfamily has expanded through tandem and segmental duplication. Differential expression indicated wide functional divergence in this superfamily. Furthermore, positive selection analysis revealed that divergent selection constraints might have influenced the evolution of the four subfamilies. In conclusion, the results of this study contribute novel detailed information about the molecular evolution of the expansin gene superfamily in soybean.

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          Most cited references72

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          The roles of segmental and tandem gene duplication in the evolution of large gene families in Arabidopsis thaliana

          Background Most genes in Arabidopsis thaliana are members of gene families. How do the members of gene families arise, and how are gene family copy numbers maintained? Some gene families may evolve primarily through tandem duplication and high rates of birth and death in clusters, and others through infrequent polyploidy or large-scale segmental duplications and subsequent losses. Results Our approach to understanding the mechanisms of gene family evolution was to construct phylogenies for 50 large gene families in Arabidopsis thaliana, identify large internal segmental duplications in Arabidopsis, map gene duplications onto the segmental duplications, and use this information to identify which nodes in each phylogeny arose due to segmental or tandem duplication. Examples of six gene families exemplifying characteristic modes are described. Distributions of gene family sizes and patterns of duplication by genomic distance are also described in order to characterize patterns of local duplication and copy number for large gene families. Both gene family size and duplication by distance closely follow power-law distributions. Conclusions Combining information about genomic segmental duplications, gene family phylogenies, and gene positions provides a method to evaluate contributions of tandem duplication and segmental genome duplication in the generation and maintenance of gene families. These differences appear to correspond meaningfully to differences in functional roles of the members of the gene families.
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            The SWISS-MODEL Repository and associated resources

            SWISS-MODEL Repository (http://swissmodel.expasy.org/repository/) is a database of 3D protein structure models generated by the SWISS-MODEL homology-modelling pipeline. The aim of the SWISS-MODEL Repository is to provide access to an up-to-date collection of annotated 3D protein models generated by automated homology modelling for all sequences in Swiss-Prot and for relevant models organisms. Regular updates ensure that target coverage is complete, that models are built using the most recent sequence and template structure databases, and that improvements in the underlying modelling pipeline are fully utilised. As of September 2008, the database contains 3.4 million entries for 2.7 million different protein sequences from the UniProt database. SWISS-MODEL Repository allows the users to assess the quality of the models in the database, search for alternative template structures, and to build models interactively via SWISS-MODEL Workspace (http://swissmodel.expasy.org/workspace/). Annotation of models with functional information and cross-linking with other databases such as the Protein Model Portal (http://www.proteinmodelportal.org) of the PSI Structural Genomics Knowledge Base facilitates the navigation between protein sequence and structure resources.
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              Estimating synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates under realistic evolutionary models.

              Q. Z. Yang (2000)
              Approximate methods for estimating the numbers of synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions between two DNA sequences involve three steps: counting of synonymous and nonsynonymous sites in the two sequences, counting of synonymous and nonsynonymous differences between the two sequences, and correcting for multiple substitutions at the same site. We examine complexities involved in those steps and propose a new approximate method that takes into account two major features of DNA sequence evolution: transition/transversion rate bias and base/codon frequency bias. We compare the new method with maximum likelihood, as well as several other approximate methods, by examining infinitely long sequences, performing computer simulations, and analyzing a real data set. The results suggest that when there are transition/transversion rate biases and base/codon frequency biases, previously described approximate methods for estimating the nonsynonymous/synonymous rate ratio may involve serious biases, and the bias can be both positive and negative. The new method is, in general, superior to earlier approximate methods and may be useful for analyzing large data sets, although maximum likelihood appears to always be the method of choice.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                BMC Plant Biol
                BMC Plant Biol
                BMC Plant Biology
                BioMed Central
                1471-2229
                2014
                11 April 2014
                : 14
                : 93
                Affiliations
                [1 ]College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
                Article
                1471-2229-14-93
                10.1186/1471-2229-14-93
                4021193
                24720629
                647c270e-3f37-4ce3-b1a4-7e623c1cd753
                Copyright © 2014 Zhu et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                History
                : 30 November 2013
                : 27 March 2014
                Categories
                Research Article

                Plant science & Botany
                Plant science & Botany

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