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Abstract Detail


Secondary Metabolism

Han, Yuepeng [1], Gasic, Ksenija [2], Korban, Schuyler [2].

Structure, expression, and duplication of genes encoding O-methyltransferases in apple (Malus × domestica Borkh.).

The varied roles of O-methyltransferases (OMTs) in plant secondary metabolism include plant growth and development, plant-environment interactions as well as plant defense responses to microorganisms and herbivores. To date, among the most thoroughly investigated OMTs are caffeic acid OMT (COMT) and caffeoyl CoA OMT (CCOMT). While both are involved in lignin biosynthesis, COMT methylates caffeic acid/5-hydroxyferulic acid, whereas, CCOMT methylates CoA ester. In this study, two clusters of genes coding for COMT have been identified in the apple genome. Three genes from one cluster and two genes from another cluster were isolated. These five genes encoding COMT were designated Mdomt1 to Mdomt5. The apple Mdomt genes consist of four exons and three introns, and are distinguished by a (CT)n microsatellite in the 5 UTR and two transposon-like sequences present in the promoter region and intron 1, respectively. The transposon-like sequence in intron 1 unambiguously traced the five Mdomt genes in the apple to a common ancestor. It is likely that the ancestor must have undergone an initial duplication generating two progenitors, and then subsequently followed by further duplication of these progenitors resulting in the two clusters identified in this study. Mdomt1 and Mdomt3 are expressed in buds, flowers, and fruits, but not in leaves; while Mdomt2, Mdomt4, and Mdomt5 are expressed in all tissues analyzed. Our results provide further evidence to support the hypothesis that plant OMTs have evolved via gene duplication followed by divergence.


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1 - University of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 310 Madigan Lab., 1201 W. Gregory, Urbana, Illinois, 61801, USA
2 - University of Illinois, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Keywords:
gene duplication
phylogenetics
evolution.

Presentation Type: Plant Biology Abstract
Session: P
Location: Exhibit Hall (Northeast, Southwest & Southeast)/Hilton
Date: Sunday, July 8th, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Number: P20045
Abstract ID:1901


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