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Recently duplicated maize R2R3 Myb genes provide evidence for distinct mechanisms of evolutionary divergence after duplication

, : Recently duplicated maize R2R3 Myb genes provide evidence for distinct mechanisms of evolutionary divergence after duplication. Plant Physiology 131(2): 610-620

R2R3 Myb genes are widely distributed in the higher plants and comprise one of the largest known families of regulatory proteins. Here, we provide an evolutionary framework that helps explain the origin of the plant-specific R2R3 Myb genes from widely distributed R1R2R3 Myb genes, through a series of well-established steps. To understand the routes of sequence divergence that followed Myb gene duplication, we supplemented the information available on recently duplicated maize (Zea mays) R2R3 Myb genes (C1/Pl1 and P1/P2) by cloning and characterizing ZmMyb-IF35 and ZmMyb-IF25. These two genes correspond to the recently expanded P-to-A group of maize R2R3 Myb genes. Although the origins of C1/Pl1 and ZmMyb-IF35/ZmMyb-IF25 are associated with the segmental allotetraploid origin of the maize genome, other gene duplication events also shaped the P-to-A clade. Our analyses indicate that some recently duplicated Myb gene pairs display substantial differences in the numbers of synonymous substitutions that have accumulated in the conserved MYB domain and the divergent C-terminal regions. Thus, differences in the accumulation of substitutions during evolution can explain in part the rapid divergence of C-terminal regions for these proteins in some cases. Contrary to previous studies, we show that the divergent C termini of these R2R3 MYB proteins are subject to purifying selection. Our results provide an in-depth analysis of the sequence divergence for some recently duplicated R2R3 Myb genes, yielding important information on general patterns of evolution for this large family of plant regulatory genes.


PMID: 12586885

DOI: 10.1104/pp.012047

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