Fructosyltransferase and invertase genes evolved by gene duplication and rearrangements: rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat gene families Academic Article uri icon


  • The invertase enzyme family is responsible for carbohydrate metabolism in rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat. Fructan molecules accumulate in cell vacuoles of perennial ryegrass and wheat and are associated with abiotic stress tolerance. High levels of amino acid similarity between the fructosyltransferases responsible for fructan accumulation indicates that they may have evolved from invertase-like ancestral genes. In this study, we have applied comparative genomics to determine the mechanisms that lead to the evolution of fructosytransferase and invertase genes in rice, perennial ryegrass, and wheat. Duplications and rearrangements have been inferred to generate variant forms of the rice invertases since divergence from a common grass progenitor. The occurrence of multiple copies of fructosyltransferase genes indicated that duplication events continued during evolution of the wheat and perennial ryegrass lineages. Further gene rearrangements were evident in perennial ryegrass genes, albeit at a reduced level compared with the rice invertases. Gene orthologs were largely static after duplication during evolution of the wheat lineage. This study details evolutionary events that contribute to fructosyltransferase and invertase gene variation in grasses.

publication date

  • September 2006

published in