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Fujikawa K.,Makino Botanical Garden | Kodama R.,Makino Botanical Garden | Noguchi S.,Makino Botanical Garden | Okada M.,Makino Botanical Garden | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Japanese Botany | Year: 2011

As a part of our botanical inventory program, field surveys of supposedly sibling entities of Chinese/Japanese herbal medicinal species were carried out. From our collections seven species, Coptis aspleniifolia Salisb. (Ranunculaceae), Paeonia brownii Douglas ex Hook. (Paeoniaceae), Gentiana sceptrum Griseb. (Gentianaceae), Nuphar polysepala Engelm. (Nymphaeaceae), Fritillaria affinis (Schultes) Sealy, F. camtschatcensis Sweet and F. pudica Spreng. (Liliaceaé) were studied taxonomically in comparison with their Asian counterpart taxa. Related chemical analyses were made by means of thin-layer chromatography, colour test by Dragendroff's reagent and/or in part high performance liquid chromatography. The chemical analyses proved the existence of active components within three species, suggesting certain possibilities in using these North American plants as substitutes of medicinal plants of Japanese Pharmacopeia.

Liu S.-L.,Center for Plant Research | Liu S.-L.,University of British Columbia | Adams K.L.,Center for Plant Research | Adams K.L.,University of British Columbia
Molecular Biology and Evolution | Year: 2010

New gene formation by polyploidy has been an ongoing process during the evolution of various eukaryotes that has contributed greatly to the large number of genes in their genomes. After duplication, some genes that are retained can acquire new functions or expression patterns, or subdivide their functions or expression patterns between duplicates. Here, we show that SHORT SUSPENSOR (SSP) and Brassinosteroid Kinase 1 (BSK1) are paralogs duplicated by a polyploidy event that occurred in the Brassicaceae family about 23 Ma. SSP is involved in paternal control of zygote elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana by transcription in the sperm cells of pollen and then translation in the zygote, whereas BSK1 is involved in brassinosteroid signal transduction. Comparative analysis of expression in 63 different organs and developmental stages revealed that BSK1 and SSP have opposite expression patterns in pollen compared with all other parts of the plant. We determined that BSK1 retains the ancestral expression pattern and function. Thus, SSP has diverged in function after duplication from a component of the brassinosteroid signaling pathway to a paternal regulator of the timing of zygote elongation. The ancestral function of SSP was lost by deletions in the kinase domain. Our sequence rate analysis revealed that SSP but not BSK1 has experienced a greatly accelerated rate of amino acid sequence changes and relaxation of purifying selection. In addition, SSP has been duplicated to create a new gene (SSP-like1) with a completely different expression pattern, a shorter coding sequence that has lost a critical functional domain, and a greatly accelerated rate of amino acid sequence evolution along with evidence for positive selection, together indicative of neofunctionalization. This study illustrates two dramatic examples of neofunctionalization following gene duplication by complete changes in expression pattern and function. In addition, our findings indicate that paternal control of zygote elongation by SSP is an evolutionarily recent innovation in the Brassicaceae family. © 2010 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved.

Chang Y.,Center for Plant Research | Chang Y.,University of British Columbia | Graham S.W.,Center for Plant Research | Graham S.W.,University of British Columbia
American Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Premise of the study: We present here new bryophyte-specific primers that permit retrieval of 17 slowly evolving plastid genes and their associated introns and intergenic spacers. These regions were chosen to facilitate accurate phylogenetic inference across a broad range of mosses and other bryophytes. Methods and Results: We developed 78 new primers for the targeted regions using an initial sampling of exemplar bryophytes and other green plants, to complement those used in vascular plants. We assessed the ability of the new primers to amplify and sequence these regions using a test set of 11 additional exemplar bryophytes. Conclusions: We show that the newly designed primers facilitate ready retrieval of 14 of 17 targeted regions from a broad range of bryophyte taxa. These primers should prove useful for future studies of bryophyte phylogeny. © 2011 Botanical Society of America.

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