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Phytohormones control the development and growth of plants, as well as their response to biotic and abiotic stress. The seven most well-studied phytohormone classes defined today are as follows: auxins, ethylene, cytokinin, abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, gibberellins, and brassinosteroids. The basic principle of hormone regulation is conserved in all plants, but recent results suggest adaptations of synthesis, transport, or signaling pathways to the architecture and growth environment of different plant species. Thus, we aimed to define the extent to which information from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana is transferable to other plants such as Solanum lycopersicum. We extracted the co-orthologues of genes coding for major pathway enzymes in A. thaliana from the translated genomes of 12 species from the clade Viridiplantae. Based on predicted domain architecture and localization of the identified proteins from all 13 species, we inspected the conservation of phytohormone pathways. The comparison was complemented by expression analysis of (co-)orthologous genes in S. lycopersicum. Altogether, this information allowed the assignment of putative functional equivalents between A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum but also pointed to some variations between the pathways in eudicots, monocots, mosses, and green algae. These results provide first insights into the conservation of the various phytohormone pathways between the model system A. thaliana and crop plants such as tomato. We conclude that orthologue prediction in combination with analysis of functional domain architecture and intracellular localization and expression studies are sufficient tools to transfer information from model plants to other plant species. Our results support the notion that hormone synthesis, transport, and response for most part of the pathways are conserved, and species-specific variations can be found.
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