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      Molecular and phylogenetic characterization of the sieve element occlusion gene family in Fabaceae and non- Fabaceae plants

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          The phloem of dicotyledonous plants contains specialized P-proteins (phloem proteins) that accumulate during sieve element differentiation and remain parietally associated with the cisternae of the endoplasmic reticulum in mature sieve elements. Wounding causes P-protein filaments to accumulate at the sieve plates and block the translocation of photosynthate. Specialized, spindle-shaped P-proteins known as forisomes that undergo reversible calcium-dependent conformational changes have evolved exclusively in the Fabaceae. Recently, the molecular characterization of three genes encoding forisome components in the model legume Medicago truncatula ( MtSEO1, MtSEO2 and MtSEO3; SEO = sieve element occlusion) was reported, but little is known about the molecular characteristics of P-proteins in non- Fabaceae.


          We performed a comprehensive genome-wide comparative analysis by screening the M. truncatula, Glycine max, Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera and Solanum phureja genomes, and a Malus domestica EST library for homologs of MtSEO1, MtSEO2 and MtSEO3 and identified numerous novel SEO genes in Fabaceae and even non- Fabaceae plants, which do not possess forisomes. Even in Fabaceae some SEO genes appear to not encode forisome components. All SEO genes have a similar exon-intron structure and are expressed predominantly in the phloem. Phylogenetic analysis revealed the presence of several subgroups with Fabaceae-specific subgroups containing all of the known as well as newly identified forisome component proteins. We constructed Hidden Markov Models that identified three conserved protein domains, which characterize SEO proteins when present in combination. In addition, one common and three subgroup specific protein motifs were found in the amino acid sequences of SEO proteins. SEO genes are organized in genomic clusters and the conserved synteny allowed us to identify several M. truncatula vs G. max orthologs as well as paralogs within the G. max genome.


          The unexpected occurrence of forisome-like genes in non- Fabaceae plants may indicate that these proteins encode species-specific P-proteins, which is backed up by the phloem-specific expression profiles. The conservation of gene structure, the presence of specific motifs and domains and the genomic synteny argue for a common phylogenetic origin of forisomes and other P-proteins.

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          Most cited references 46

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          ProtTest: selection of best-fit models of protein evolution.

          Using an appropriate model of amino acid replacement is very important for the study of protein evolution and phylogenetic inference. We have built a tool for the selection of the best-fit model of evolution, among a set of candidate models, for a given protein sequence alignment. ProtTest is available under the GNU license from
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            Is Open Access

            The grapevine genome sequence suggests ancestral hexaploidization in major angiosperm phyla.

            The analysis of the first plant genomes provided unexpected evidence for genome duplication events in species that had previously been considered as true diploids on the basis of their genetics. These polyploidization events may have had important consequences in plant evolution, in particular for species radiation and adaptation and for the modulation of functional capacities. Here we report a high-quality draft of the genome sequence of grapevine (Vitis vinifera) obtained from a highly homozygous genotype. The draft sequence of the grapevine genome is the fourth one produced so far for flowering plants, the second for a woody species and the first for a fruit crop (cultivated for both fruit and beverage). Grapevine was selected because of its important place in the cultural heritage of humanity beginning during the Neolithic period. Several large expansions of gene families with roles in aromatic features are observed. The grapevine genome has not undergone recent genome duplication, thus enabling the discovery of ancestral traits and features of the genetic organization of flowering plants. This analysis reveals the contribution of three ancestral genomes to the grapevine haploid content. This ancestral arrangement is common to many dicotyledonous plants but is absent from the genome of rice, which is a monocotyledon. Furthermore, we explain the chronology of previously described whole-genome duplication events in the evolution of flowering plants.
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              The Sorghum bicolor genome and the diversification of grasses.

              Sorghum, an African grass related to sugar cane and maize, is grown for food, feed, fibre and fuel. We present an initial analysis of the approximately 730-megabase Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench genome, placing approximately 98% of genes in their chromosomal context using whole-genome shotgun sequence validated by genetic, physical and syntenic information. Genetic recombination is largely confined to about one-third of the sorghum genome with gene order and density similar to those of rice. Retrotransposon accumulation in recombinationally recalcitrant heterochromatin explains the approximately 75% larger genome size of sorghum compared with rice. Although gene and repetitive DNA distributions have been preserved since palaeopolyploidization approximately 70 million years ago, most duplicated gene sets lost one member before the sorghum-rice divergence. Concerted evolution makes one duplicated chromosomal segment appear to be only a few million years old. About 24% of genes are grass-specific and 7% are sorghum-specific. Recent gene and microRNA duplications may contribute to sorghum's drought tolerance.

                Author and article information

                BMC Plant Biol
                BMC Plant Biology
                BioMed Central
                8 October 2010
                : 10
                : 219
                [1 ]Institut für Biochemie und Biotechnologie der Pflanzen, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Hindenburgplatz 55, D-48143 Münster, Germany
                [2 ]Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME), Forckenbeckstraße 6, D-52074 Aachen, Germany
                [3 ]Institut für Evolution und Biodiversität, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Hüfferstraße 1, D-48149 Münster, Germany
                Copyright ©2010 Rüping et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article

                Plant science & Botany


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