Functional Plant Biology Functional Plant Biology Society
Plant function and evolutionary biology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Large gene family of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase in the crassulacean acid metabolism plant Kalanchoe pinnata (Crassulaceae) characterised by partial cDNA sequence analysis

Hans H. Gehrig A , Joshua A. Wood B , Mary Ann Cushman B , Aurelio Virgo A , John C. Cushman B C and Klaus Winter A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, P.O. Box 2072, Balboa, Ancón, Republic of Panama.

B Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557-0014, USA.

C Corresponding author. Email: jcushman@unr.edu

D This paper originates from a presentation at the IVth International Congress on Crassulacean Acid Metabolism, Tahoe City, California, USA, July–August 2004

Functional Plant Biology 32(5) 467-472 https://doi.org/10.1071/FP05079
Submitted: 4 April 2005  Accepted: 3 May 2005   Published: 27 May 2005

Abstract

Clones coding for a 1100-bp cDNA sequence of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) of the constitutive crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) plant Kalanchoe pinnata (Lam.) Pers., were isolated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) and characterised by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis and DNA sequencing. Seven distinct PEPC isogenes were recovered, four in leaves and three in roots (EMBL accession numbers: AJ344052–AJ344058). Sequence similarity comparisons and distance neighbour-joining calculations separate the seven PEPC isoforms into two clades, one of which contains the three PEPCs found in roots. The second clade contains the four isoforms found in leaves and is divided into two branches, one of which contains two PEPCs most similar with described previously CAM isoforms. Of these two isoforms, however, only one exhibited abundant expression in CAM-performing leaves, but not in very young leaves, which do not exhibit CAM, suggesting this isoform encodes a CAM-specific PEPC. Protein sequence calculations suggest that all isogenes are likely derived from a common ancestor gene, presumably by serial gene duplication events. To our knowledge, this is the most comprehensive identification of a PEPC gene family from a CAM plant, and the greatest number of PEPC isogenes reported for any vascular plant to date.

Keywords: crassulacean acid metabolism, evolution, gene family, isogenes, Kalanchoe pinnata, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase.


Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to JCC and KW, and by funds from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to KW. Additional support was provided by the Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station and this article is published as publication No. 03055524 of the University of Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station.


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