Patterns of molecular evolution among paralogous floral homeotic genes

Amy L. Lawton-Rauh, Edward S. Buckler IV, Michael D. Purugganan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The plant MADS-box regulatory gene family includes several loci that control different aspects of inflorescence and floral development. Orthologs to the Arabidopsis thaliana MADS-box floral meristem genes APETALA1 and CAULIFLOWER and the floral organ identity genes APETALA3 and PISTILLATA were isolated from the congeneric species Arabidopsis lyrata. Analysis of these loci between these two Arabidopsis species, as well as three other more distantly related taxa, reveal contrasting dynamics of molecular evolution between these paralogous floral regulatory genes. Among the four loci, the CAL locus evolves at a significantly faster rate, which may be associated with the evolution of genetic redundancy between CAL and AP1. Moreover, there are significant differences in the distribution of replacement and synonymous substitutions between the functional gene domains of different floral homeotic loci. These results indicate that divergence in developmental function among paralogous members of regulatory gene families is accompanied by changes in rate and pattern of sequence evolution among loci.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1045
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Arabidopsis lyrata
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • MADS- box

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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