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Molecular Phylogeny and Expression of Poplar Circadian Clock Genes, LHY1 and LHY2

Naoki Takata, Shigeru Saito, Claire Tanaka Saito, Tokihiko Nanjo, Kenji Shinohara and Matsuo Uemura
The New Phytologist
Vol. 181, No. 4 (Mar., 2009), pp. 808-819
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30224729
Page Count: 12
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Molecular Phylogeny and Expression of Poplar Circadian Clock Genes, LHY1 and LHY2
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Abstract

LHY/CCA1 genes play a key role in the plant circadian clock system and are highly conserved among plant species. However, the evolutionary process of the LHY/ CCA1 gene family remains unclear in angiosperms. To obtain details of the phylogeny of these genes, this study characterized LHY/CCA1 genes in a model woody plant, Populus tree. The evolutionary process of angiosperm LHY/CCA1 genes was elucidated using three approaches: comparison of exon-intron structures, reconstruction of phylogenetic trees and examination of syntenic relationships. In addition, the molecular evolutionary rates and the expression patterns of Populus LHYs were analyzed. Gene duplication events of Populus LHYs and Arabidopsis LHY/CCA1 had occurred independently by different chromosomal duplication events arising in each evolutionary lineage. Populus LHYs were under purifying selection by estimating substitution rates of these genes. Further, Populus LHYs conserved diurnal expressions in leaves and stems but the transcripts of LHY2 were more abundant than those of LHY1 in Populus plants. This study uncovered phylogenetic relationships of the LHY/CCA1 gene family in angiosperms. In addition, the transcript abundance and the evolutionary differences between Populus LHY1 and LHY2 imply that Populus LHY2, rather than LHY1, may have a major role in the Populus clock system.

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