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Evolution and diversity of invertase genes in Populus trichocarpa

Bocock, Philip N., Morse, Alison M., Dervinis, Christopher, Davis, John M.
Planta 2008 v.227 no.3 pp. 565-576
Arabidopsis, forest trees, perennials, cell walls, evolution, glucose, microarray technology, sucrose, vacuoles, Populus trichocarpa, carbon, beta-fructofuranosidase, genes, hydrolysis, pH, fructose
Invertase (EC plays a key role in carbon utilization as it catalyzes the irreversible hydrolysis of sucrose into glucose and fructose. The invertase family in plants is composed of two sub-families thought to have distinct evolutionary origins and can be distinguished by their pH optima for activity: acid invertases and neutral/alkaline invertases. The acid invertases apparently originated in eubacteria and are targeted to the cell wall and vacuole, while neutral/alkaline invertases apparently originated in cyanobacteria and function in the cytosol. The recently sequenced genome of Populus trichocharpa (Torr. and Gray) allowed us to identify the genes encoding invertase in this woody perennial. Here we describe the identification of eight acid invertase genes; three of which belong to the vacuolar targeted group (PtVIN1-3), and five of which belong to the cell wall targeted group (PtCIN1-5). Similarly, we report the identification of 16 neutral/alkaline invertase genes (PtNIN1-16). Expression analyses using whole genome microarrays and RT-PCR reveal evidence for expression of all invertase family members. An examination of the micro-syntenic regions surrounding the poplar invertase genes reveals extensive colinearity with Arabidopsis invertases. We also find evidence for expression of a novel intronless vacuolar invertase (PtVIN1), which apparently arose from a processed PtVIN2 transcript that re-inserted into the genome. To our knowledge, this is the first intronless invertase found in plants. This work increases the understanding of the role this family plays in carbon allocation and partitioning in forest trees as well as its evolutionary development.