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J Mol Evol. 2002 Mar;54(3):322-32.

Sucrose phosphate synthase genes in plants belong to three different families.

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Mt. Albert Research Centre, HortResearch, Private Bag 92169, Auckland, New Zealand.


We present phylogenetic analyses to demonstrate that there are three families of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) genes present in higher plants. Two data sets were examined, one consisting of full-length proteins and a second larger set that covered a highly conserved region including the 14-3-3 binding region and the UDPGlu active site. Analysis of both datasets showed a well supported separation of known genes into three families, designated A, B, and C. The genomic sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana include a member in each family: two genes on chromosome 5 belong to Family A, one gene on chromosome 1 to Family B, and one gene on chromosome 4 to Family C. Each of three Citrus genes belong to one of the three families. Intron/exon organization of the four Arabidopsis genes differed according to phylogenetic analysis, with members of the same family from different species having similar genomic organization of their SPS genes. The two Family A genes on Arabidopsis chromosome 5 appear to be due to a recent duplication. Analysis of published literature and ESTs indicated that functional differentiation of the families was not obvious, although B family members appear not to be expressed in roots. B family genes were cloned from two Actinidia species and southern analysis indicated the presence of a single gene family, which contrasts to the multiple members of Family A in Actinidia. Only two family C genes have been reported to date.

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