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Open Access Research article

Genetic recombination is associated with intrinsic disorder in plant proteomes

Inmaculada Yruela12* and Bruno Contreras-Moreira123

Author Affiliations

1 Estación Experimental de Aula Dei, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (EEAD-CSIC), Avda. Montañana, 1005, Zaragoza 50059, Spain

2 Institute of Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI), Universidad de Zaragoza, Mariano Esquillor, Edificio I+D, Zaragoza 50018, Spain

3 Fundación ARAID, Zaragoza Spain

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:772  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-772

Published: 9 November 2013



Intrinsically disordered proteins, found in all living organisms, are essential for basic cellular functions and complement the function of ordered proteins. It has been shown that protein disorder is linked to the G + C content of the genome. Furthermore, recent investigations have suggested that the evolutionary dynamics of the plant nucleus adds disordered segments to open reading frames alike, and these segments are not necessarily conserved among orthologous genes.


In the present work the distribution of intrinsically disordered proteins along the chromosomes of several representative plants was analyzed. The reported results support a non-random distribution of disordered proteins along the chromosomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, two model eudicot and monocot plant species, respectively. In fact, for most chromosomes positive correlations between the frequency of disordered segments of 30+ amino acids and both recombination rates and G + C content were observed.


These analyses demonstrate that the presence of disordered segments among plant proteins is associated with the rates of genetic recombination of their encoding genes. Altogether, these findings suggest that high recombination rates, as well as chromosomal rearrangements, could induce disordered segments in proteins during evolution.

Chromosome; Evolution; Intrinsically disordered proteins; Orthologues; Plant genome; Recombination rate