Lotus Cell Walls and the Genes Involved in its Synthesis and Modification
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The lotus genome (Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn.)) lacks the paleo-triplication found in other eudicots and has evolved remarkably slowly with fewer nucleotide mutations. It is thought to have greater retention of duplicated genes than other angiosperms. We evaluated the potential genes involved in cell wall synthesis and its modification, and ethylene synthesis and response. In many cell wall transferases and hydrolases families, lotus had fewer members in most families when compared to Arabidopsis. Lotus had similar or fewer members in each family as found in poplar, grape and papaya. The exceptions were in the sialyl and beta-glucuronsyl transferases where similar number were found as in the core eudicots. Lotus had similar numbers of polygalacturonase and pectin methyl esterases as found in Arabidopsis but fewer in all other hydrolases families. For starch degradation, lotus had only two alpha amylases predicted genes versus eight to ten in other eudicots, with similar numbers of beta amylase genes predicted. Lotus also had less than half the number of genes predicted for the enzymes involved in lignin and tannin synthesis compared to Arabidopsis. The stress plant growth regulator ethylene’s synthesis, reception and response predicted genes were fewer in lotus than other eudicots. Only two ethylene receptor genes were predicted in lotus with five reported for Arabidopsis and six for tomato. Our analysis does not supports the conclusion that this species has greater retention of duplicated genes though our data does support the conclusion that lotus split occurred at the base of the eudicots.
KeywordsCell walls Transferases Hydrolases Tannins Lignin Ethylene
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