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Genetics. 2002 Mar;160(3):1153-62.

The colinearity of the Sh2/A1 orthologous region in rice, sorghum and maize is interrupted and accompanied by genome expansion in the triticeae.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Wheat Genetics Resource Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506-5502, USA.


The Sh2/A1 orthologous region of maize, rice, and sorghum contains five genes in the order Sh2, X1, X2, and two A1 homologs in tandem duplication. The Sh2 and A1 homologs are separated by approximately 20 kb in rice and sorghum and by approximately 140 kb in maize. We analyzed the fate of the Sh2/A1 region in large-genome species of the Triticeae (wheat, barley, and rye). In the Triticeae, synteny in the Sh2/A1 region was interrupted by a break between the X1 and X2 genes. The A1 and X2 genes remained colinear in homeologous chromosomes as in other grasses. The Sh2 and X1 orthologs also remained colinear but were translocated to a nonhomeologous chromosome. Gene X1 was duplicated on two nonhomeologous chromosomes, and surprisingly, a paralog shared homology much higher than that of the orthologous copy to the X1 gene of other grasses. No tandem duplication of A1 homologs was detected but duplication of A1 on a nonhomeologous barley chromosome 6H was observed. Intergenic distances expanded greatly in wheat compared to rice. Wheat and barley diverged from each other 12 million years ago and both show similar changes in the Sh2/A1 region, suggesting that the break in colinearity as well as X1 duplications and genome expansion occurred in a common ancestor of the Triticeae species.

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