Identification and characterization of the Populus sucrose synthase gene family

Xinmin An, Zhong Chen, Jingcheng Wang, Meixia Ye, Lexiang Ji, Jia Wang, Weihua Liao, Huandi Ma
Gene 2014 April 10, 539 (1): 58-67
In this study, we indentified 15 sucrose synthase (SS) genes in Populus and the results of RT-qPCR revealed that their expression patterns were constitutive and partially overlapping but diverse. The release of the most recent Populus genomic data in Phytozome v9.1 has revealed the largest SS gene family described to date, comprising 15 distinct members. This information will now enable the analysis of transcript expression profiles for those that have not been previously reported. Here, we performed a comprehensive analysis of SS genes in Populus by describing the gene structure, chromosomal location and phylogenetic relationship of each family member. A total of 15 putative SS gene members were identified in the Populus trichocarpa (Torr. & Gray) genome using the SS domain and amino acid sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana as a probe. A phylogenetic analysis indicated that the 15 members could be classified into four groups that fall into three major categories: dicots, monocots & dicots 1 (M & D 1), and monocots & dicots 2 (M & D 2). In addition, the 15 SS genes were found to be unevenly distributed on seven chromosomes. The two conserved domains (sucrose synthase and glycosyl transferase) were found in this family. Meanwhile, the expression profiles of all 15 gene members in seven different organs were investigated in Populus tomentosa (Carr.) by using RT-qPCR. Additional analysis indicated that the poplar SS gene family is also involved in response to water-deficit. The current study provides basic information that will assist in elucidating the functions of poplar SS family.

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