Cyclin-dependent kinases and cyclins regulate with the help of different interacting proteins the progression through the eukaryotic cell cycle. A high-quality, homology-based annotation protocol was applied to determine the core cell cycle genes in the recently completed Arabidopsis genome sequence. In total, 61 genes were identified belonging to seven selected families of cell cycle regulators, for which 30 are new or corrections of the existing annotation. A new class of putative cell cycle regulators was found that probably are competitors of E2F/DP transcription factors, which mediate the G1-to-S progression. In addition, the existing nomenclature for cell cycle genes of Arabidopsis was updated, and the physical positions of all genes were compared with segmentally duplicated blocks in the genome, showing that 22 core cell cycle genes emerged through block duplications. This genome-wide analysis illustrates the complexity of the plant cell cycle machinery and provides a tool for elucidating the function of new family members in the future.
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