Combining comparative sequence and genomic data to ascertain phylogenetic relationships and explore the evolution of the large gdSL-lipase family in land plants

Micha Volokita, Tamar Rosilio-Brami, Natalia Rivkin, Moriyah Zik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

The GDSL-lipase gene family is a very large subfamily within the supergene family of SGNH esterases, defined by the distinct GDSL amino acid motif and several highly conserved domains. Plants retain a large number of GDSL-lipases indicating that they have acquired important functions. Yet, in planta functions have been demonstrated for only a few GDSL-lipases from diverse species. Considering that orthologs often retain equivalent functions, we determined the phylogenetic relationships between GDSL-lipases from genome-sequenced species representing bryophytes, gymnosperms, monocots, and eudicots. An unrooted phylogenetic tree was constructed from the amino acid sequences of 604 GDSL-lipases from seven species. The topology of the tree depicts two major and one minor subfamily. This division is also supported by the unique gene structure of each subfamily. Because GDSL-lipase genes of all species are present in each of the three subfamilies, we conclude that the last common ancestor of the land plants already possessed at least one ancestral GDSL-lipase gene of each subfamily. Combined gene structure and synteny analyses revealed events of segmental duplications, gene transposition, and gene degeneration in the evolution of the GDSL-lipase gene family. Furthermore, these analyses showed that independent events of intron gain and loss also contributed to the extant repertoire of the GDSL-lipase gene family. Our findings suggest that underlying many of the intron losses was a spliceosomal-mediated mechanism followed by gene conversion. Sorting the phylogenetic relationships among the members of the GDSL-lipase gene family, as depicted by the tree and supported by synteny analyses, provides a framework for extrapolation of demonstrated functional data to GDSL-lipases, whose function is yet unknown. Furthermore, function(s) associated with specific lineage(s)-enriched branches may reveal correlations between acquired and/or lost functions and speciation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-565
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • GDSL-lipase
  • gene family phylogeny
  • intron gain and loss
  • land plants
  • syntany

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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