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Analysis of Arabidopsis non-reference accessions reveals high diversity of metabolic gene clusters and discovers new candidate cluster members


[ 1 ] Instytut Informatyki, Wydział Informatyki i Telekomunikacji, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.3] Information and communication technology
[7.5] Biological sciences

Year of publication


Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science

Journal year: 2023 | Journal volume: vol. 14

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • copy number variation
  • biosynthetic gene cluster
  • secondary metabolism
  • oxidosqualene cyclase
  • triterpenes
  • cytochrome P450

EN Metabolic gene clusters (MGCs) are groups of genes involved in a common biosynthetic pathway. They are frequently formed in dynamic chromosomal regions, which may lead to intraspecies variation and cause phenotypic diversity. We examined copy number variations (CNVs) in four Arabidopsis thaliana MGCs in over one thousand accessions with experimental and bioinformatic approaches. Tirucalladienol and marneral gene clusters showed little variation, and the latter was fixed in the population. Thalianol and especially arabidiol/baruol gene clusters displayed substantial diversity. The compact version of the thalianol gene cluster was predominant and more conserved than the noncontiguous version. In the arabidiol/baruol cluster, we found a large genomic insertion containing divergent duplicates of the CYP705A2 and BARS1 genes. The BARS1 paralog, which we named BARS2, encoded a novel oxidosqualene synthase. The expression of the entire arabidiol/baruol gene cluster was altered in the accessions with the duplication. Moreover, they presented different root growth dynamics and were associated with warmer climates compared to the reference-like accessions. In the entire genome, paired genes encoding terpene synthases and cytochrome P450 oxidases were more variable than their nonpaired counterparts. Our study highlights the role of dynamically evolving MGCs in plant adaptation and phenotypic diversity.

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

1104303-1 - 1104303-16





Article Number: 1104303

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

5,6 [List 2022]

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