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Rubisco evolution in C₄ eudicots: an analysis of Amaranthaceae sensu lato.

Kapralov, MV, Smith, JA and Filatov, DA (2012) Rubisco evolution in C₄ eudicots: an analysis of Amaranthaceae sensu lato. PLoS One, 7 (12). ISSN 1932-6203

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BACKGROUND: Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase) catalyses the key reaction in the photosynthetic assimilation of CO₂. In C₄ plants CO₂ is supplied to Rubisco by an auxiliary CO₂-concentrating pathway that helps to maximize the carboxylase activity of the enzyme while suppressing its oxygenase activity. As a consequence, C₄ Rubisco exhibits a higher maximum velocity but lower substrate specificity compared with the C₃ enzyme. Specific amino-acids in Rubisco are associated with C₄ photosynthesis in monocots, but it is not known whether selection has acted on Rubisco in a similar way in eudicots. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated Rubisco evolution in Amaranthaceae sensu lato (including Chenopodiaceae), the third-largest family of C₄ plants, using phylogeny-based maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods to detect Darwinian selection on the chloroplast rbcL gene in a sample of 179 species. Two Rubisco residues, 281 and 309, were found to be under positive selection in C₄ Amaranthaceae with multiple parallel replacements of alanine by serine at position 281 and methionine by isoleucine at position 309. Remarkably, both amino-acids have been detected in other C₄ plant groups, such as C₄ monocots, illustrating a striking parallelism in molecular evolution. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings illustrate how simple genetic changes can contribute to the evolution of photosynthesis and strengthen the hypothesis that parallel amino-acid replacements are associated with adaptive changes in Rubisco.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH426 Genetics
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 20 May 2015 14:53
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:22
DOI or ID number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052974
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1115
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