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Genome. 2010 Jul;53(7):533-44. doi: 10.1139/g10-031.

Comparison of gene order of GIGANTEA loci in yellow-poplar, monocots, and eudicots.

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School of Forest Resources and Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


GIGANTEA plays an important role in the control of circadian rhythms and photoperiodic flowering. The GIGANTEA gene has been studied in various species, but not in basal angiosperms. Moreover, to the best of our knowledge, no study of the genome organization of a basal angiosperm has yet been published. In this study, we sequenced a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) harboring GIGANTEA from yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) and compared the genomic organization of this gene in yellow-poplar with that in other species from various angiosperm clades. This is the first report on the gene structure and organization of a large contig in any basal angiosperm species. The BAC clone, covering a region of approximately 122 kb from the yellow-poplar genome, was sequenced and assembled by coupling the 454 pyrosequencing technology with ABI capillary sequencing. In addition to GIGANTEA, the gene RPS18.A (encoding ribosomal protein S18.A) was found in this segment of the genome. We found that gene content and order in this region of the yellow-poplar genome were similar to those in the corresponding region in eudicots but not in Oryza sativa and Sorghum bicolor, implying that clustering of the GIGANTEA and RPS18.A genes is ancestral and separation of the genes occurred after the phylogenetic split of monocots from dicots. Phylogenetic analysis of GIGANTEA amino acid sequences placed yellow-poplar closer to eudicots than to monocots. In addition, evidence for transposition and large insertions and duplications was found, suggesting multiple and complex mechanisms of basal angiosperm genome evolution.

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