A large-scale bioinformatics analysis revealed the origin and evolution of GT47 gene family, and identified two clades of intron-poor genes with putative functions in drought stress responses and seed development in maize. Glycosyltransferase family 47 (GT47) genes encode β-galactosyltransferases and β-glucuronyltransferases that synthesize pectin, xyloglucans and xylan, which are important components of the plant cell wall. In this study, we performed a systematic and large-scale bioinformatics analysis of GT47 gene family using 352 GT47 proteins from 15 species ranging from cyanobacteria to seed plants. The analysis results showed that GT47 family may originate in cyanobacteria and expand along the evolutionary trajectory to moss. Further analysis of 47 GT47 genes in maize revealed that they can divide into five clades with diverse exon-intron structures. Among these five clades, two were mainly composed with intron-poor genes, which may originate in the moss. Gene duplication analysis revealed that the expansion of GT47 gene family in maize was significantly driven from tandem duplication events and segmental duplication events. Significantly, almost all duplicated genes are intron-poor genes. Expression analysis indicated that several intron-poor GT47 genes may be involved in the drought stress response and seed development in maize. This work provides insight into the origin and evolutionary process, expansion mechanisms and expression patterns of GT47 genes, thus facilitating their functional investigations in the future.
糖基转移酶家族47(GT47)的基因编码合成果胶，木葡聚糖和木聚糖的β-半乳糖基转移酶和β-葡糖醛酸基转移酶，在细胞壁的生物合成中发挥着重要的作用。我们的研究发现，GT47家族可能起源于蓝藻，并且在进化到苔藓植物的过程中发生扩展，其中2个起源于苔藓植物的Clades主要由intron-poor的基因组成。基因复制分析显示GT47家族在玉米中的扩展是由串联复制事件和大片段复制事件驱动的，且这些复制基因几乎全部都是intron-poor的基因。表达分析表明，几个intron-poor的GT47基因可能参与玉米干旱胁迫反应和种子发育。（Tan et al，planta，2017）