Journal of Molecular Evolution

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 23–33 | Cite as

TCP Transcription Factors Predate the Emergence of Land Plants

  • Olivier Navaud
  • Patrick Dabos
  • Elodie Carnus
  • Dominique Tremousaygue
  • Christine HervéEmail author


TCP proteins are plant-specific transcription factors identified so far only in angiosperms and shown to be involved in specifying plant morphologies. However, the functions of these proteins remain largely unknown. Our study is the first phylogenetic analysis comparing the TCP genes from higher and lower plants, and it dates the emergence of the TCP family to before the split of the Zygnemophyta. EST database analysis and CODEHOP PCR amplification revealed TCP genes in basal land plant genomes and also in their close freshwater algal relatives. Based on an extensive survey of TCP genes, families of TCP proteins were characterized in the Arabidopsis thaliana, poplar, rice, club-moss, and moss genomes. The phylogenetic trees indicate a continuous expansion of the TCP family during the diversification of the Phragmoplastophyta and a similar degree of expansion in several angiosperm lineages. TCP paralogues were identified in all genomes studied, and Ks values indicate that TCP genes expanded during genome duplication events. MEME and SIMPLE analyses detected conserved motifs and low-complexity regions, respectively, outside of the TCP domain, which reinforced the previous description of a “mosaic” structure of TCP proteins.


TCP Plant development Phragmoplastophyta Arabidopsis thaliana Populus trichocarpa Oryza sativa Selaginella mollendorffii Physcomitrella patens 



This work was financially supported by the French Genoplante program. O.N. holds a grant from the Ministère de l’Education Nationale, Enseignement Supérieur, Recherche, France. The authors thank Christophe Plomion (INRA, Cestas), Frédéric Masclaux (CNRS/UPS, UMR5546, Castanet Tolosan) , Monique Feist (CNRS, UMR 5554, Université Montpellier II), Charles F. Delwiche (University of Maryland), and Monique Turmel (Université Laval, Québec) for the DNA provided and Hervé Moreau (CNRS, UMR76286, Banyuls-sur-Mer) for access to the Ostreococcus tauri genomic database. We thank Mar Albà (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) for providing SIMPLE software and Sébastien Carrère (CNRS, UMR2594, Castanet Tolosan) for implementation of SIMPLE and PhyML in our server. We thank Cyril Guibert (Institut für Systematische Botanik, Zurich), Yves Marco (CNRS, UMR2594, Castanet Tolosan), and Mark Cock (CNRS, UMR 7139, Roscoff) for critical reading of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

239_2006_174_Supp.pdf (1.3 mb)
Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olivier Navaud
    • 1
  • Patrick Dabos
    • 1
  • Elodie Carnus
    • 1
  • Dominique Tremousaygue
    • 1
  • Christine Hervé
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.CNRS UMR2594/INRA UMR441Laboratoire des Interactions Plantes MicroorganismesCastanet-TolosanFrance

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