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Trends Plant Sci. 2014 Jul;19(7):447-59. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.013. Epub 2014 Feb 27.

The rise of operon-like gene clusters in plants.

Author information

1
Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
2
Biotechnology Department, Corporate R&D Division, FIRMENICH SA, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
3
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva, University of Lausanne, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.
4
Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland. Electronic address: theresa.fitzpatrick@unige.ch.

Abstract

Gene clusters are common features of prokaryotic genomes also present in eukaryotes. Most clustered genes known are involved in the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Although horizontal gene transfer is a primary source of prokaryotic gene cluster (operon) formation and has been reported to occur in eukaryotes, the predominant source of cluster formation in eukaryotes appears to arise de novo or through gene duplication followed by neo- and sub-functionalization or translocation. Here we aim to provide an overview of the current knowledge and open questions related to plant gene cluster functioning, assembly, and regulation. We also present potential research approaches and point out the benefits of a better understanding of gene clusters in plants for both fundamental and applied plant science.

KEYWORDS:

gene clusters; gene transfer; operons

PMID:
24582794
DOI:
10.1016/j.tplants.2014.01.013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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