Promoter analysis of MADS-box genes in eudicots through phylogenetic footprinting.

The MIKC MADS-box gene family has been shaped by extensive gene duplications giving rise to subfamilies of genes with distinct functions and expression patterns. However, within these subfamilies the functional assignment is not that clear-cut, and considerable functional redundancy exists. One way to investigate the diversity in regulation present in these subfamilies is promoter sequence analysis. With the advent of genome sequencing projects, we are now able to exert a comparative analysis of Arabidopsis and poplar promoters of MADS-box genes belonging to the same subfamily. Based on the principle of phylogenetic footprinting, sequences conserved between the promoters of homologous genes are thought to be functional. Here, we have investigated the evolution of MADS-box genes at the promoter level and show that many genes have diverged in their regulatory sequences after duplication and/or speciation. Furthermore, using phylogenetic footprinting, a distinction can be made between redundancy, neo/nonfunctionalization, and subfunctionalization.

De Bodt, S., Theissen, G., Van de Peer, Y. (2006) Promoter analysis of MADS-box genes in eudicots through phylogenetic footprinting. Mol. Biol. Evol. 23(6):1293-303.









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