Comparative analysis of plant carbohydrate active enZymes and their role in xylogenesis Pinard, Desre; Mizrachi, Eshchar; Hefer, Charles A; Kersting, Anna R; Joubert, Fourie; Douglas, Carl J; Mansfield, Shawn D; Myburg, Alexander A
Background: Carbohydrate metabolism is a key feature of vascular plant architecture, and is of particular importance in large woody species, where lignocellulosic biomass is responsible for bearing the bulk of the stem and crown. Since Carbohydrate Active enZymes (CAZymes) in plants are responsible for the synthesis, modification and degradation of carbohydrate biopolymers, the differences in gene copy number and regulation between woody and herbaceous species have been highlighted previously. There are still many unanswered questions about the role of CAZymes in land plant evolution and the formation of wood, a strong carbohydrate sink. Results: Here, twenty-two publically available plant genomes were used to characterize the frequency, diversity and complexity of CAZymes in plants. We find that a conserved suite of CAZymes is a feature of land plant evolution, with similar diversity and complexity regardless of growth habit and form. In addition, we compared the diversity and levels of CAZyme gene expression during wood formation in trees using mRNA-seq data from two distantly related angiosperm tree species Eucalyptus grandis and Populus trichocarpa, highlighting the major CAZyme classes involved in xylogenesis and lignocellulosic biomass production. Conclusions: CAZyme domain ratio across embryophytes is maintained, and the diversity of CAZyme domains is similar in all land plants, regardless of woody habit. The stoichiometric conservation of gene expression in woody and non-woody tissues of Eucalyptus and Populus are indicative of gene balance preservation.
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