Gene conversion between direct noncoding repeats promotes genetic and phenotypic diversity at a regulatory locus of Zea mays (L.)

Feng Zhang, Thomas Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

While evolution of coding sequences has been intensively studied, diversification of noncoding regulatory regions remains poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the molecular evolution of an enhancer region located 5 kb upstream of the transcription start site of the maize pericarp color1 (p1) gene. The p1 gene encodes an R2R3 Myb-like transcription factor that regulates the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in maize floral organs. Distinct p1 alleles exhibit organ-specific expression patterns on kernel pericarp and cob glumes. A cob glume-specific regulatory region has been identified in the distal enhancer. Further characterization of 6 single-copy p1 alleles, including P1-rr (red pericarp/red cob) and P1-rw (red pericarp and white cob), reveals 3 distinct enhancer types. Sequence variations in the enhancer are correlated with the p1 gene expression patterns in cob glume. Structural comparisons and phylogenetic analyses suggest that evolution of the enhancer region is likely driven by gene conversion between long direct noncoding repeats (∼6 kb in length). Given that tandem and segmental duplications are common in both animal and plant genomes, our studies suggest that recombination between noncoding duplicated sequences could play an important role in creating genetic and phenotypic variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-762
Number of pages10
JournalGenetics
Volume174
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Gene conversion between direct noncoding repeats promotes genetic and phenotypic diversity at a regulatory locus of Zea mays (L.)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this