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Comparative analysis of methylthioalkylmalate synthase (MAM) gene family and flanking DNA sequences in Brassica oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana


Gene BoGSL-PRO is associated with presence of 3-carbon side-chain glucosinolates (GSL). This gene is a member of the methylthioalkylmalate synthase (MAM) gene family. A BAC clone of Brassica oleracea, B21F5, containing this gene, was sequenced, annotated and compared to its corresponding region in Arabidopsis thaliana. Twelve protein-coding genes and 10 transposable elements were found in this clone. The corresponding region in A. thaliana chromosome I has 14 genes and no transposable elements. Analysis of MAM gene family in both species, which also include genes controlling 4-carbon side-chain GSL, separated the genes in two groups based on exon numbers and function. Phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences encoded by these genes suggest that these two groups were produced by a duplication that must have occurred before the divergence of the Rosid and Asterid lineages of angiosperms. Comparison with putative orthologs from several prokaryotes further suggest that the members of the gene family with 10 exons, which encode proteins involved in 4-carbon side-chain GSL biosynthesis, were derived via truncation of the 3′ end from ancestral genes more similar in length to those with 12 exons, which encode proteins involved in 3-carbon side-chain GSL biosynthesis. Lower gene density in B. oleracea compared to A. thaliana is due in part to presence of transposable elements (TE) mostly in inter-genic regions.

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We are indebted to Dr. Lidia Nascimento from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory for reception and sequencing coordination of BAC clone B21F5, to Ms. Bo Yang and Mr. Vincent D'Antonio for technical assistance. This research was supported by USDA-IFAFS grant #00-52100-9683: “Development of Genomic Tools and Resources for Brassica”. The sequencing was funded under NSF grant NSF DBI 9813578: ‘‘A Genetic Approach to Ordered Sequencing of Arabidopsis”

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Correspondence to Carlos F. Quiros.

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Communicated by W. Parrott

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Gao, M., Li, G., Potter, D. et al. Comparative analysis of methylthioalkylmalate synthase (MAM) gene family and flanking DNA sequences in Brassica oleracea and Arabidopsis thaliana . Plant Cell Rep 25, 592–598 (2006).

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  • Comparative genomics
  • Genome evolution
  • Glucosinolates
  • Transposable elements