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EST data suggest that poplar is an ancient polyploid

Authors

  • Lieven Sterck,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium;
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  • Stephane Rombauts,

    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium;
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  • Stefan Jansson,

    1. Department of Biotechnology, Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Center, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden;
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  • Fredrik Sterky,

    1. Department of Biotechnology, Kungliga Tekniska Hogskolan Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Center, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden;
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  • Pierre Rouzé,

    1. Laboratoire Associé de l’Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (France), Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium
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  • Yves Van de Peer

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Plant Systems Biology, Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Ghent University, Technologiepark 927, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium;
      Author for correspondence: Yves Van de Peer Tel: +32 9 331 3807 Fax: +32 9 331 3809 Email: Yves.VandePeer@psb.ugent.be
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Author for correspondence: Yves Van de Peer Tel: +32 9 331 3807 Fax: +32 9 331 3809 Email: Yves.VandePeer@psb.ugent.be

Summary

  • We analysed the publicly available expressed sequence tag (EST) collections for the genus Populus to examine whether evidence can be found for large-scale gene-duplication events in the evolutionary past of this genus.
  • The ESTs were clustered into unigenes for each poplar species examined. Gene families were constructed for all proteins deduced from these unigenes, and KS dating was performed on all paralogs within a gene family. The fraction of paralogs was then plotted against the KS values, which resulted in a distribution reflecting the age of duplicated genes in poplar.
  • Sufficient EST data were available for seven different poplar species spanning four of the six sections of the genus Populus. For all these species, there was evidence that a large-scale gene-duplication event had occurred.
  • From our analysis it is clear that all poplar species have shared the same large-scale gene-duplication event, suggesting that this event must have occurred in the ancestor of poplar, or at least very early in the evolution of the Populus genus.

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