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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(3), 5900-5921; doi:10.3390/ijms16035900

Positive Selection and Functional Divergence of R2R3-MYB Paralogous Genes Expressed in Inflorescence Buds of Scutellaria Species (Labiatae)

1
Department of Life Science, National Taiwan Normal University, 88, Ting-Chow Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei 116, Taiwan
2
Laboratory of Computational Molecular Biology, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
3
Department of Biological Science and Technology, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, 1, Shuefu Rd., Neipu, Pingtung 912, Taiwan
4
School of Life Science and Engineering, Chongqing Three Gorges University, Chongqing 404001, China
5
The College of Forestry, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 14 December 2014 / Revised: 15 February 2015 / Accepted: 5 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Biology)
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Abstract

Anthocyanin is the main pigment forming floral diversity. Several transcription factors that regulate the expression of anthocyanin biosynthetic genes belong to the R2R3-MYB family. Here we examined the transcriptomes of inflorescence buds of Scutellaria species (skullcaps), identified the expression R2R3-MYBs, and detected the genetic signatures of positive selection for adaptive divergence across the rapidly evolving skullcaps. In the inflorescence buds, seven R2R3-MYBs were identified. MYB11 and MYB16 were detected to be positively selected. The signature of positive selection on MYB genes indicated that species diversification could be affected by transcriptional regulation, rather than at the translational level. When comparing among the background lineages of Arabidopsis, tomato, rice, and Amborella, heterogeneous evolutionary rates were detected among MYB paralogs, especially between MYB13 and MYB19. Significantly different evolutionary rates were also evidenced by type-I functional divergence between MYB13 and MYB19, and the accelerated evolutionary rates in MYB19, implied the acquisition of novel functions. Another paralogous pair, MYB2/7 and MYB11, revealed significant radical amino acid changes, indicating divergence in the regulation of different anthocyanin-biosynthetic enzymes. Our findings not only showed that Scutellaria R2R3-MYBs are functionally divergent and positively selected, but also indicated the adaptive relevance of regulatory genes in floral diversification. View Full-Text
Keywords: anthocyanin; evolutionary rate; functional divergence; phylogenetic analysis; positive selection; R2R3-MYB; Scutellaria anthocyanin; evolutionary rate; functional divergence; phylogenetic analysis; positive selection; R2R3-MYB; Scutellaria
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Huang, B.-H.; Pang, E.; Chen, Y.-W.; Cao, H.; Ruan, Y.; Liao, P.-C. Positive Selection and Functional Divergence of R2R3-MYB Paralogous Genes Expressed in Inflorescence Buds of Scutellaria Species (Labiatae). Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 5900-5921.

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