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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Whole genome duplication events in plant evolution reconstructed and predicted using myosin motor proteins

Stefanie Mühlhausen and Martin Kollmar*

Author Affiliations

Group Systems Biology of Motor Proteins, Department of NMR-based Structural Biology, Max-Planck-Institute for biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany

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BMC Evolutionary Biology 2013, 13:202  doi:10.1186/1471-2148-13-202

Published: 22 September 2013

Abstract

Background

The evolution of land plants is characterized by whole genome duplications (WGD), which drove species diversification and evolutionary novelties. Detecting these events is especially difficult if they date back to the origin of the plant kingdom. Established methods for reconstructing WGDs include intra- and inter-genome comparisons, KS age distribution analyses, and phylogenetic tree constructions.

Results

By analysing 67 completely sequenced plant genomes 775 myosins were identified and manually assembled. Phylogenetic trees of the myosin motor domains revealed orthologous and paralogous relationships and were consistent with recent species trees. Based on the myosin inventories and the phylogenetic trees, we have identified duplications of the entire myosin motor protein family at timings consistent with 23 WGDs, that had been reported before. We also predict 6 WGDs based on further protein family duplications. Notably, the myosin data support the two recently reported WGDs in the common ancestor of all extant angiosperms. We predict single WGDs in the Manihot esculenta and Nicotiana benthamiana lineages, two WGDs for Linum usitatissimum and Phoenix dactylifera, and a triplication or two WGDs for Gossypium raimondii. Our data show another myosin duplication in the ancestor of the angiosperms that could be either the result of a single gene duplication or a remnant of a WGD.

Conclusions

We have shown that the myosin inventories in angiosperms retain evidence of numerous WGDs that happened throughout plant evolution. In contrast to other protein families, many myosins are still present in extant species. They are closely related and have similar domain architectures, and their phylogenetic grouping follows the genome duplications. Because of its broad taxonomic sampling the dataset provides the basis for reliable future identification of further whole genome duplications.

Keywords:
Myosin; Plant evolution; Whole genome duplication