To investigate the molecular changes that might have occurred in genes for pyruvate,orthophosphate dikinase (PPDK) during the evolution of C4 plants from C3 plants, we isolated a full-length cDNA and the corresponding gene for a C4-like PPDK from rice, a C3 gramineous plant and compared their structures and promoter activities to those of the corresponding gene from maize, a C4 gramineous plant. As in maize, there are at least two ppdk genes in rice and one of them was very similar to the maize C4-type ppdk. The deduced amino acid sequence of the rice PPDK was 88% homologous to the maize C4-type PPDK in the mature peptide region and 56% homologous in the transit peptide region. The C4-like ppdk in rice contained 21 exons, which were interrupted by twenty introns, and the positions of the introns were essentially the same as those in the gene from maize, with the except in that the gene from rice had two extra introns. Such extra introns were also found in the C4-type ppdk from a dicot, Flaveria, at the same positions. These results strongly suggest that the two introns were present in an ancestral gene before the divergence of monocot and dicot plants.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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