Phylogenomic Analysis of the PEBP Gene Family in Cereals
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The TFL1 and FT genes, which are key genes in the control of flowering time in Arabidopsis thaliana, belong to a small multigene family characterized by a specific phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein domain, termed the PEBP gene family. Several PEBP genes are found in dicots and monocots, and act on the control of flowering time. We investigated the evolution of the PEBP gene family in cereals. First, taking advantage of the complete rice genome sequence and EST databases, we found 19 PEBP genes in this species, 6 of which were not previously described. Ten genes correspond to five pairs of paralogs mapped on known duplicated regions of the rice genome. Phylogenetic analysis of Arabidopsis and rice genes indicates that the PEBP gene family consists of three main homology classes (the so-called TFL1-LIKE, MFT-LIKE, and FT-LIKE subfamilies), in which gene duplication and/or loss occurred independently in Arabidopsis and rice. Second, phylogenetic analyses of genomic and EST sequences from five cereal species indicate that the three subfamilies of PEBP genes have been conserved in cereals. The tree structure suggests that the ancestral grass genome had at least two MFT-like genes, two TFL1-like genes, and eight FT-like genes. A phylogenomic approach leads to some hypotheses about conservation of gene function within the subfamilies.
KeywordsFlowering time Gene duplication Comparative biology FT/TFL1-LIKE gene family Poaceae
We are grateful to Domenica Manicacci, Maud Tenaillon, and Alain Charcosset for critical reading of the manuscript. This research was supported by a grant to Fabien Chardon from the Génoplante programme.
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