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Conserved Noncoding Sequences among Cultivated Cereal Genomes Identify Candidate Regulatory Sequence Elements and Patterns of Promoter Evolution

Hena Guo and Stephen P. Moose
The Plant Cell
Vol. 15, No. 5 (May, 2003), pp. 1143-1158
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3871783
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Conserved Noncoding Sequences among Cultivated Cereal Genomes Identify Candidate Regulatory Sequence Elements and Patterns of Promoter Evolution
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Abstract

Surveys for conserved noncoding sequences (CNS) among genes from monocot cereal species were conducted to assess the general properties of CNS in grass genomes and their correlation with known promoter regulatory elements. Initial comparisons of 11 orthologous maize-rice gene pairs found that previously defined regulatory motifs could be identified within short CNS but could not be distinguished reliably from random sequence matches. Among the different phylogenetic footprinting algorithms tested, the VISTA tool yielded the most informative alignments of noncoding sequence. VISTA was used to survey for CNS among all publicly available genomic sequences from maize, rice, wheat, barley, and sorghum, representing >300 gene comparisons. Comparisons of orthologous maize-rice and maize-sorghum gene pairs identified 20 bp as a minimal length criterion for a significant CNS among grass genes, with few such CNS found to be conserved across rice, maize, sorghum, and barley. The frequency and length of cereal CNS as well as nucleotide substitution rates within CNS were consistent with the known phylogenetic distances among the species compared. The implications of these findings for the evolution of cereal gene promoter sequences and the utility of using the nearly completed rice genome sequence to predict candidate regulatory elements in other cereal genes by phylogenetic footprinting are discussed.

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