Molecular evolution and lineage-specific expansion of the PP2C family in Zea mays
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97 ZmPP2Cs were clustered into 10 subfamilies with biased subfamily evolution and lineage-specific expansion. Segmental duplication after the divergence of maize and sorghum might have led to primary expansion of ZmPP2Cs.
The protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) enzymes control many stress responses and developmental processes in plants. In Zea mays, a comprehensive understanding of the evolution and expansion of the PP2C family is still lacking. In the current study, 97 ZmPP2Cs were identified and clustered into 10 subfamilies. Through the analysis of the PP2C family in monocots, the ZmPP2C subfamilies displayed biased subfamily molecular evolution and lineage-specific expansion, as evidenced by their differing numbers of member genes, expansion and evolutionary rates, conserved subdomains, chromosomal distributions, expression levels, responsive-regulatory elements and regulatory networks. Moreover, while segmental duplication events have caused the primary expansion of the ZmPP2Cs, the majority of their diversification occurred following the additional whole-genome duplication that took place after the divergence of maize and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor). After this event, the PP2C subfamilies showed asymmetric evolutionary rates, with the D, F2 and H subfamily likely the most closely to resemble its ancestral subfamily’s genes. These findings could provide novel insights into the molecular evolution and expansion of the PP2C family in maize, and lay the foundation for the functional analysis of these enzymes in maize and related monocots.
KeywordsComparative genomics Expansion Functional analysis Molecular evolution Monocot Protein phosphatase 2C
Million years ago
Protein phosphatase 2C
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31471567; 31671763; 31701470), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M610388; 2018T110637), China Scholarship Council (Grant 201708350002 to KF), Fujian Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (2017J01439), Education Department of Fujian Province of China (JZ160436) and Fujian-Taiwan Joint Innovative Centre for Germplasm Resources and Cultivation of Crop (2015-75. FJ 2011 Program, China).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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