LEA Gene Introns: is the Intron of Dehydrin Genes a Characteristic of the Serine-Segment?

Jiménez-Bremont, Juan; Maruri-López, Israel; Ochoa-Alfaro, Ana; Delgado-Sánchez, Pablo; Bravo, Jaime; Rodríguez-Kessler, Margarita
March 2013
Plant Molecular Biology Reporter;Mar2013, Vol. 31 Issue 1, p128
Academic Journal
Dehydrins, which belong to group 2 LEA proteins, are a family of intrinsically unstructured plant proteins that accumulate during the late stages of embryogenesis and in response to abiotic stresses. We have previously reported that the OpsDHN1 gene, encoding an SK-type acidic dehydrin protein from Opuntia streptacantha, contains an intron inserted within the sequence encoding the S-motif. Herein, we present an in silico analysis of intron sequences in dehydrin genes from mono- and dicotyledonous plants that reveals a preference for insertion within the nucleotide sequence encoding the S-motif. Sequence comparison of ten Dhn genes from Arabidopsis thaliana and the orthologous genes in Arabidopsis lyrata revealed that introns maintain considerable sequence identity and conserve the insertion pattern. Furthermore, syntenic regions were identified among eight orthologous genes of A. thaliana and A. lyrata, showing that correlated gene arrangements are conserved between these Arabidopsis species. Our study shows that most SKn-type dehydrins contain one intron that is conserved in phase and location; this intron is linked to the nucleotide sequence that encodes the S-motif.


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