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Mol Biol Evol. 2003 May;20(5):842-54. Epub 2003 Apr 2.

MADS-box genes in Ginkgo biloba and the evolution of the AGAMOUS family.

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  • 1Service de Biosystématique, Université P et M Curie, Paris, France.


MADS-box proteins are a large family of transcription factors. In plants, many genes belonging to this family are involved in the homeosis of the floral system. Up to now, they have mainly been studied in angiosperms, especially in the model species Arabidopsis thaliana and Antirrhinum majus. We undertook a study of MADS-box genes in Ginkgo biloba, the unique extant representative of a whole branch of the phylogenetic tree of the seed plants. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) survey reveals the diversity of MADS-box genes present in the genome of the Ginkgo. Duplications probably occurred specifically in the ginkgophyte lineage. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that one of these genes, GBM5, is an orthologue of the AGAMOUS gene of A. thaliana. We cloned and sequenced the entire cDNA of the GBM5 gene and studied its intron/exon structure. We showed by reverse transcriptase-PCR that it is expressed in both floral and vegetative tissues. We discuss the molecular evolution of the AGAMOUS family of genes.

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