J Syst Evol ›› 2016, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (5): 511-518.DOI: 10.1111/jse.12200

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Divergent homoeolog evolution of the anthocyanin regulatory gene R in Oryza allopolyploids

Ying Bao*, Xiao-Lin Zhu, Xiang Jing, and Mei Liu   

  1. School of Life Sciences, Qufu Normal University, Qufu, Shandong 273165, China
  • Received:2015-12-24 Published:2016-09-08

Abstract: Polyploidization is an important evolutionary force in plant speciation and diversification. Retention and elimination of homoeologs derived by polyploidization are prevalent, whereas the evolutionary details of some duplicated genes in closely related natural polyploids are largely unknown. In the present study, we used an important regulatory gene (R) that encodes a bHLH protein in the anthocyanin metabolism pathway to demonstrate divergent evolutionary fates of homoeologs among four related Oryza allotetraploids. The BBCC genome species O. punctata Kotschy ex Steud. maintained both of its homoeologs, whereas three CCDD genome species (O. alta Swallen, O. grandiglumis (Döll) Prod., and O. latifolia Desv.) lost their C subgenome homoeologous copies. In addition, the evolutionary rates of the homoeologs in the polyploids were equivalent to their corresponding homologs in diploids. We also found a slightly higher level of nucleotide diversity inR for the C subgenome homoeolog than for the B subgenome counterpart in O. punctata. After comparing the two types of polyploids, we conclude that inconsistent evolutionary patterns of R in these polyploids are probably associated with different evolutionary time, asymmetrical subgenome evolutionary dynamics, and unique demographical characteristics of these species.

Key words: BBCC, CCDD, duplication, elimination, retention