Comprehensive Evolutionary and Expression Analysis of FCS-Like Zinc finger Gene Family Yields Insights into Their Origin, Expansion and Divergence

Muhammed Jamsheer K, Chanchal Thomas Mannully, Nandu Gopan, Ashverya Laxmi
PloS One 2015, 10 (8): e0134328
Plant evolution is characterized by frequent genome duplication events. Expansion of habitat resulted in the origin of many novel genes and genome duplication events which in turn resulted in the expansion of many regulatory gene families. The plant-specific FCS-Like Zinc finger (FLZ) gene family is characterized by the presence of a FCS-Like Zinc finger (FLZ) domain which mediates the protein-protein interaction. In this study, we identified that the expansion of FLZ gene family size in different species is correlated with ancestral and lineage-specific whole genome duplication events. The subsequent gene loss found to have a greater role in determining the size of this gene family in many species. However, genomic block duplications played the significant role in the expansion of FLZ gene family in some species. Comparison of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa FLZ gene family revealed monocot and dicot specific evolutionary trends. The FLZ genes were found to be under high purifying selection. The spatiotemporal expression analyses of Arabidopsis thaliana FLZ gene family revealed that majority of the members are highly expressed in reproductive organs. FLZ genes were also found to be highly expressed during vegetative-to-reproductive phase transition which is correlated with the proposed role of this gene family in sugar signaling. The comparison of sequence, structural and expression features of duplicated genes identified lineage-specific redundancy and divergence. This extensive evolutionary analysis and expression analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana FLZ genes will pave the way for further functional analysis of FLZ genes.

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