Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Plant Cell Environ. 2006 Dec;29(12):2113-23.

Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase genes in C3, crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and C3/CAM intermediate species of the genus Clusia: rapid reversible C3/CAM switches are based on the C3 housekeeping gene.

Author information

  • 1Physiological Ecology of Plants, Botanical Institute, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Plant Cell Environ. 2006 Dec;29(12):2248-51.


The genus Clusia includes species that exhibit either the C3 or crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) mode of photosynthesis, or those that are able to switch between both modes according to water availability. In order to screen for species-specific genetic variability, we investigated the key carboxylase for CAM, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC). Sequence analysis of DNA isolated from the obligate CAM species, Clusia hilariana, the obligate C3 species, Clusia multiflora, and an intermediate species that can switch between C3 and CAM photosynthesis, Clusia minor, revealed three different isoforms for C. hilariana and one each for the other two species. Sequence alignments indicated that PEPC from the intermediate species had high homology with the C3 protein and with one of CAM plant proteins. These were assumed to constitute 'housekeeping' proteins, which can also support CAM in intermediate species. The other two isoforms of the CAM plant C. hilariana were either CAM-specific or showed homologies with PEPC from roots. Phylogenetic trees derived from neighbour-joining analysis of amino acid sequences from 13 different Clusia species resulted in two distinct groups of plants with either 'housekeeping' PEPC only, or additionally CAM-related isoforms. Only C. hilariana showed the third, probably root-specific isoform. The high homology of the PEPC from the intermediate species with the C3 protein indicates that for the reversible transition from the C3 to CAM mode of photosynthesis, the C3 type of PEPC is sufficient. Its expression, however, is strongly increased under CAM-inducing conditions. The use of the C3 isoform could have facilitated the evolution of CAM within the genus, which occurred independently for several times.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk