Genome Dynamics Explain the Evolution of Flowering Time CCT Domain Gene Families in the Poaceae

James Cockram, Thomas Thiel, Burkhard Steuernagel, Nils Stein, Stefan Taudien, Paul C. Bailey, Donal M. O'Sullivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Numerous CCT domain genes are known to control flowering in plants. They belong to the CONSTANS-like (COL) and PREUDORESPONSE REGULATOR (PRR) gene families, which in addition to a CCT domain possess B-box or response-regulator domains, respectively. Ghd7 is the most recently identified COL gene to have a proven role in the control of flowering time in the Poaceae. However, as it lacks B-box domains, its inclusion within the COL gene family, technically, is incorrect. Here, we show Ghd7 belongs to a larger family of previously uncharacterized Poaceae genes which possess just a single CCT domain, termed here CCT MOTIF FAMILY (CMF) genes. We molecularly describe the CMF (and related COL and PRR) gene families in four sequenced Poaceae species, as well as in the draft genome assembly of barley (Hordeum vulgare). Genetic mapping of the ten barley CMF genes identified, as well as twelve previously unmapped HvCOL and HvPRR genes, finds the majority map to colinear positions relative to their Poaceae orthologues. Combined inter-/intra-species comparative and phylogenetic analysis of CMF, COL and PRR gene families indicates they evolved prior to the monocot/dicot divergence ~200 mya, with Poaceae CMF evolution described as the interplay between whole genome duplication in the ancestral cereal, and subsequent clade-specific mutation, deletion and duplication events. Given the proven role of CMF genes in the modulation of cereals flowering, the molecular, phylogenetic and comparative analysis of the Poaceae CMF, COL and PRR gene families presented here provides the foundation from which functional investigation can be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere45307
JournalPLoS One
Volume7
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes

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