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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

DNA repair and recombination in higher plants: insights from comparative genomics of arabidopsis and rice

Sanjay K Singh1, Sujit Roy2, Swarup Roy Choudhury1 and Dibyendu N Sengupta1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Botany, Bose Institute, 93/1 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700 009, India

2 Department of Chemistry, Protein Chemistry Laboratory, Bose Institute, 93/1 Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, Kolkata 700 009, India

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BMC Genomics 2010, 11:443  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-443

Published: 21 July 2010

Abstract

Background

The DNA repair and recombination (DRR) proteins protect organisms against genetic damage, caused by environmental agents and other genotoxic agents, by removal of DNA lesions or helping to abide them.

Results

We identified genes potentially involved in DRR mechanisms in Arabidopsis and rice using similarity searches and conserved domain analysis against proteins known to be involved in DRR in human, yeast and E. coli. As expected, many of DRR genes are very similar to those found in other eukaryotes. Beside these eukaryotes specific genes, several prokaryotes specific genes were also found to be well conserved in plants. In Arabidopsis, several functionally important DRR gene duplications are present, which do not occur in rice. Among DRR proteins, we found that proteins belonging to the nucleotide excision repair pathway were relatively more conserved than proteins needed for the other DRR pathways. Sub-cellular localization studies of DRR gene suggests that these proteins are mostly reside in nucleus while gene drain in between nucleus and cell organelles were also found in some cases.

Conclusions

The similarities and dissimilarities in between plants and other organisms' DRR pathways are discussed. The observed differences broaden our knowledge about DRR in the plants world, and raises the potential question of whether differentiated functions have evolved in some cases. These results, altogether, provide a useful framework for further experimental studies in these organisms.