New in silico insight into the synteny between rice (Oryza sativa L.) and maize (Zea mays L.) highlights reshuffling and identifies new duplications in the rice genome

Jérôme Salse, Benoit Piégu, Richard Cooke, Michel Delseny
Plant Journal 2004, 38 (3): 396-409
A unigene set of 1411 contigs was constructed from 2629 redundant maize expressed sequence tags (ESTs) mapped on the maizeDB genetic map. Rice orthologous sequences were identified by blast alignment against the rice genomic sequence. A total of 1046 (74%) maize contigs were associated with their corresponding homologues in the rice genome and 656 (47%) defined as potential orthologous relationships. One hundred and seventeen (8%) maize EST contigs mapped to two distinct loci on the maize genetic map, reflecting the tetraploid nature of the maize genome. Among 492 mono-locus contigs, 344 (484 redundant ESTs) identify collinear blocks between maize chromosomes 2 and 4 and a single rice chromosome, defining six new collinear regions. Fine-scale analysis of collinearity between rice chromosomes 1 and 5 with maize chromosomes 3, 6 and 8 shows the presence of internal rearrangements within collinear regions. Mapping of maize contigs to two distinct loci on the rice sequence identifies five new duplication events in rice. Detailed analysis of a duplication between rice chromosomes 1 and 5 shows that 11% of the annotated genes from the chromosome 1 locus are found duplicated on the chromosome 5 paralogous counterpart, indicating a high degree of re-organisations. The implications of these findings for map-based cloning in collinear regions are discussed.

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