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Open Access Research article

Analyses of the sucrose synthase gene family in cotton: structure, phylogeny and expression patterns

Aiqun Chen12, Shae He1, Feifei Li1, Zhao Li1, Mingquan Ding1, Qingpo Liu1 and Junkang Rong1*

Author Affiliations

1 School of Agriculture and Food Science, Zhejiang A & F University, Lin'an, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 311300, China

2 State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement, College of Resources and Environmental Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China

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BMC Plant Biology 2012, 12:85  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-12-85

Published: 13 June 2012



In plants, sucrose synthase (Sus) is widely considered as a key enzyme involved in sucrose metabolism. Several paralogous genes encoding different isozymes of Sus have been identified and characterized in multiple plant genomes, while limited information of Sus genes is available to date for cotton.


Here, we report the molecular cloning, structural organization, phylogenetic evolution and expression profiles of seven Sus genes (GaSus1 to 7) identified from diploid fiber cotton (Gossypium arboreum). Comparisons between cDNA and genomic sequences revealed that the cotton GaSus genes were interrupted by multiple introns. Comparative screening of introns in homologous genes demonstrated that the number and position of Sus introns are highly conserved among Sus genes in cotton and other more distantly related plant species. Phylogenetic analysis showed that GaSus1, GaSus2, GaSus3, GaSus4 and GaSus5 could be clustered together into a dicot Sus group, while GaSus6 and GaSus7 were separated evenly into other two groups, with members from both dicot and monocot species. Expression profiles analyses of the seven Sus genes indicated that except GaSus2, of which the transcripts was undetectable in all tissues examined, and GaSus7, which was only expressed in stem and petal, the other five paralogues were differentially expressed in a wide ranges of tissues, and showed development-dependent expression profiles in cotton fiber cells.


This is a comprehensive study of the Sus gene family in cotton plant. The results presented in this work provide new insights into the evolutionary conservation and sub-functional divergence of the cotton Sus gene family in response to cotton fiber growth and development.

Sucrose synthase; Gene structure; Phylogeny; Expression pattern; Cotton