The genomic organization of four b-1,4-endoglucanase genes in plant-parasitic cyst nematodes and its evolutionary implications.

Y. Yan, G. Smant, J.P.W.G. Stokkermans, Qin Ling, T.J. Baum, A. Schots, E.L. Davis

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The genomic organization of genes encoding -1,4-endoglucanases (cellulases) from the plant-parasitic cyst nematodes Heterodera glycines and Globodera rostochiensis (HG-eng1, Hg-eng2, GR-eng1, and GR-eng2) was investigated. HG-eng1 and GR-eng1 both contained eight introns and structural domains of 2151 and 2492bp, respectively. HG-eng2 and GR-eng2 both contained seven introns and structural domains of 2324 and 2388bp, respectively. No significant similarity in intron sequence or size was observed between HG-eng1 and HG-eng2, whereas the opposite was true between GR-eng1 and GR-eng2. Intron positions among all four cyst nematode cellulase genes were conserved identically in relation to the predicted amino acid sequence. HG-eng1, GR-eng1, and GR-eng2 had several introns demarcated by 5'-GC...AG-3' in the splice sites, and all four nematode cellulase genes had the polyadenylation and cleavage signal sequence 5'-GAUAAA-3'-both rare occurences in eukaryotic genes. The 5'- flanking regions of each nematode cellulase gene, however, had signature sequences typical of eukaryotic promoter regions, including a TATA box, bHLH-type binding sites, and putative silencer, repressor, and enhancer elements. Database searches and subsequent phylogenetic comparison of the catalytic domain of the nematode cellulases placed the nematode genes in one group, with Family 5, subfamily 2, glycosyl hydrolases from Scotobacteria and Bacilliaceae as the most homologous groups. The overall amino acid sequence identity among the four nematode cellulases was from 71 to 83%, and the amino acid sequence identity to bacterial Family 5 cellulases ranged from 33 to 44%. The eukaryotic organization of the four cyst nematode cellulases suggests that they share a common ancestor, and their strong homology to prokaryotic glycosyl hydrolases may be indicative of an ancient horizontal gene transfer.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-70
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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