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Genomics. 2008 Oct;92(4):246-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ygeno.2008.06.001. Epub 2008 Jul 23.

Genomewide comparative phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analysis of tubby-like protein family in Arabidopsis, rice, and poplar.

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  • 1Jiangsu Provincial Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology, Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China.


Tubby-like proteins, which are characterized by a highly conserved tubby domain, play an important role in the maintenance and function of neuronal cells during postdifferentiation and development in mammals. In additional to the tubby domain, most tubby-like proteins in plants also possess an F-box domain. Plants also appear to harbor a large number of TLP genes. To gain insight into how TLP genes evolved in plants, we conducted a comparative phylogenetic and molecular evolutionary analysis of the tubby-like protein gene family in Arabidopsis, rice, and poplar. Genomewide screening identified 11 TLP genes in Arabidopsis, 14 in rice, and 11 in poplar. Phylogenetic trees, domain organizations, and intron/exon structures classified this family into three subfamilies and indicated that species-specific expansion contributed to the evolution of this family in plants. We determined that in rice and poplar, the tubby-like protein family had expanded mainly through segmental duplication events. Tissue-specific expression analysis indicated that functional diversification of the duplicated TLP genes was a major feature of long-term evolution. Our results also demonstrated that the tubby and F-box domains had co-evolved during the evolution of proteins containing both domains.

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