Cyclins are primary regulators of the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases, which are known to play critical roles in controlling eukaryotic cell cycle progression. While there has been extensive research on cell cycle mechanisms and cyclin function in animals and yeasts, only a small number of plant cyclins have been characterized functionally. In this paper, we describe an exhaustive search for cyclin genes in the Arabidopsis genome and among available sequences from other vascular plants. Based on phylogenetic analysis, we define 10 classes of plant cyclins, four of which are plant-specific, and a fifth is shared between plants and protists but not animals. Microarray and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analyses further provide expression profiles of cyclin genes in different tissues of wild-type Arabidopsis plants. Comparative phylogenetic studies of 174 plant cyclins were also performed. The phylogenetic results imply that the cyclin gene family in plants has experienced more gene duplication events than in animals. Expression patterns and phylogenetic analyses of Arabidopsis cyclin genes suggest potential gene redundancy among members belonging to the same group. We discuss possible divergence and conservation of some plant cyclins. Our study provides an opportunity to rapidly assess the position of plant cyclin genes in terms of evolution and classification, serving as a guide for further functional study of plant cyclins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science