, Volume 274, Issue 6, pp 644-657
Date: 05 Nov 2005

Significant microsynteny with new evolutionary highlights is detected between Arabidopsis and legume model plants despite the lack of macrosynteny

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The increased amount of data produced by large genome sequencing projects allows scientists to carry out important syntenic studies to a great extent. Detailed genetic maps and entirely or partially sequenced genomes are compared, and macro- and microsyntenic relations can be determined for different species. In our study, the syntenic relationships between key legume plants and two model plants, Arabidopsis thaliana and Populus trichocarpa were investigated. The comparison of the map position of 172 gene-based Medicago sativa markers to the organization of homologous A. thaliana genes could not identify any sign of macrosynteny between the two genomes. A 276 kb long section of chromosome 5 of the model legume Medicago truncatula was used to investigate potential microsynteny with the other legume Lotus japonicus, as well as with Arabidopsis and Populus. Besides the overall correlation found between the legume plants, the comparison revealed several microsyntenic regions in the two more distant plants with significant resemblance. Despite the large phylogenetic distance, clear microsyntenic regions between Medicago and Arabidopsis or Populus were detected unraveling new intragenomic evolutionary relations in Arabidopsis.

Communicated by A. Kondorosi