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A comprehensive expression analysis of all members of a gene family encoding cell-wall enzymes allowed us to predict cis-regulatory regions involved in cell-wall construction in specific organs of Arabidopsis.

Yokoyama R., Nishitani K.

The Arabidopsis thaliana genome sequencing project has revealed that multigene families, such as those generated by genome duplications, are more abundant among plant genomes than among animal genomes. To gain insight into the evolutionary implications of the multigene families in higher plants, we examined the XTH gene family, a group of genes encoding xyloglucan endotransglucosylase/hydrolase, which are responsible for cell-wall construction in plants. Expression analysis of all members (33 genes) of this family, using quantitative real-time RT-PCR, revealed that most members exhibit distinct expression profiles in terms of tissue specificity and responses to hormonal signals, with some members exhibiting similar expression patterns. By comparing the flanking sequences of individual genes, we identified four sets of large-segment duplications and two sets of solitary gene duplications. In each set of gene duplicates, long nucleotide sequences, ranging from one to two hundred base pairs, are conserved. Furthermore, gene duplicates exhibit similar organ-specific expression profiles. These facts allowed us to predict putative cis-regulatory regions, particularly those responsible for cell-wall construction, and hence for morphogenesis, that are specific for certain organs or tissues in plants.

Plant Cell Physiol. 42:1025-1033(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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