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Mol Genet Genomics. 2008 Feb;279(2):171-82. Epub 2007 Nov 20.

Ascorbate peroxidase gene family in tomato: its identification and characterization.

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  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel.


The antioxidative response, where ascorbate peroxidase (APX) is a key enzyme, is an integral part of the plant tolerance response to environmental stresses. As a first step towards the study of the physiological role and the regulation of the members of the Apx gene family, the orthologs of the stress-sensitive cultivated tomato Solanum lycopersicum cv. M82 (Slm) and of the wild salt-tolerant species S. pennellii acc. Atico (Spa) were identified by utilizing the tomato EST database, and characterized. A redundant list of 16 virtual Apx transcripts and four singleton ESTs was shown to correspond to seven genuine Apx genes. The complete tomato Apx gene family is comprised of genes encoding three cytosolic, two peroxisomal, and two chloroplastic APXs. These genes attained differential regulatory patterns in various Slm organs. More detailed study of Apx1 and Apx2 genes, that are the products of a recent gene duplication event, shows that they have already attained differential regulation within and between Slm and Spa under control and stress conditions. It is also suggested that due to lineage-specific gene duplication and lose events, intricate phylogenetic relationships exist among the members of the Apx gene families.

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