Mutational bias affects protein evolution in flowering plants

Molecular Biology and Evolution
Huai-chun WangDonal A Hickey


Amino acid sequences from several thousand homologous gene pairs were compared for two plant genomes, Oryza sativa and Arabidopsis thaliana. The Arabidopsis genes all have similar G+C (guanine plus cytosine) contents, whereas their homologs in rice span a wide range of G+C levels. The results show that those rice genes that display increased divergence in their nucleotide composition (specifically, increased G+C content) showed a corresponding, predictable change in the amino acid compositions of the encoded proteins relative to their Arabidopsis homologs. This trend was not seen in a "control" set of rice genes that had nucleotide contents closer to their Arabidopsis homologs. In addition to showing an overall difference in the amino acid composition of the homologous proteins, we were also able to investigate the biased patterns of amino acid substitution since the divergence of these two species. We found that the amino acid exchange matrix was highly asymmetric when comparing the High G+C rice genes with their Arabidopsis homologs. Finally, we investigated the possible causes of this biased pattern of sequence evolution. Our results indicate that the biased pattern of protein evolution is the consequence, rather than the ca...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

G+C Composition
Plant Proteins
Rice (Dietary)
Arabidopsis thaliana <plant>
Genome, Plant
Evolution, Molecular
Online Mendelian Inheritance In Man

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