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Mol Genet Genomics. 2004 Nov;272(4):420-32. Epub 2004 Sep 16.

The PIN and LAX families of auxin transport genes in Medicago truncatula.

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Department of Genetics, Biochemistry and Life Science Studies, Clemson University, 100 Jordan Hall, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.


Auxin transport proteins may be involved in nodule development. As a prelude to investigating the roles of these proteins in nodule development, we took advantage of the genetic and molecular resources available in the legume Medicago truncatula to characterize the gene families encoding auxin efflux and influx carriers. We identified ten auxin efflux carrier sequences (MtPINs) and five auxin influx/permease sequences (MtLAXs). The genomic sequence of each of these fifteen genes was determined, the genes were mapped on the publicly available map of M. truncatula, and their expression was examined in shoot and root tissue of nodulating plants. With one exception, transcripts of all MtPIN genes were detected. The expression of MtPIN2 was limited to nodulating roots, while transcripts of all other expressed genes were detected in both shoots and roots. Both the PIN and LAX gene families contain more members in M. truncatula than in Arabidopsis, but the gene families are not significantly expanded. Sequence comparison of the M. truncatula PIN and LAX genes with PIN and LAX genes from other dicots and monocots indicates that both gene families share a common overall structure, with areas of high homology both within M. truncatula and across species boundaries. Molecular phylogenies of both the PIN and LAX gene families were constructed. Combined with intron position and expression data, the phylogenies were used to assign relationships between MtPIN and MtLAX genes and the orthologous Arabidopsis PIN and LAX genes. MtPIN2 and MtPIN7 appear to be the result of a recent gene duplication with subsequent divergence of expression patterns. These results set the stage for the use of these genes in research on the role of auxin in nodulation.

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