Max-Planck-Institut für Züchtungsforschung

Structural characterization and phylogenetic evaluation of two pairs of MADS-box genes
--Günter Theissen, Tim Strater, Achim Fischer and Heinz Saedler

We have cloned and sequenced two MADS-box genes and the partial cDNA of a third one (Theissen et al., Gene, in press). One of the genomic clones was identified as zag2 (Zea AGAMOUS-like 2), while the other, termed zmm1 (Zea mays MADS1) has a very similar structure and the potential to encode a protein which shares 94% sequence identity with the putative zag2 gene product. The cDNA reveals considerable similarity to zag1 (Schmidt et al., Plant Cell 5:729-737, 1993) and the respective gene was termed zmm2. Remarkably, at least in the region downstream of the MADS-domain, zmm2 is much more similar to AGAMOUS from Arabidopsis thaliana than zag1. Phylogenetic evaluation of the sequence information, as well as chromosomal localization, both suggest that we have identified two pairs of AGAMOUS-like MADS-box genes which were created during duplication of chromosomal segments or complete chromosomes. 

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