Impact of whole-genome and tandem duplications in the expansion and functional diversification of the F-box family in legumes (Fabaceae)

PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55127. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055127. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


F-box proteins constitute a large gene family that regulates processes from hormone signaling to stress response. F-box proteins are the substrate recognition modules of SCF E3 ubiquitin ligases. Here we report very distinct trends in family size, duplication, synteny and transcription of F-box genes in two nitrogen-fixing legumes, Glycine max (soybean) and Medicago truncatula (alfafa). While the soybean FBX genes emerged mainly through segmental duplications (including whole-genome duplications), M. truncatula genome is dominated by locally-duplicated (tandem) F-box genes. Many of these young FBX genes evolved complex transcriptional patterns, including preferential transcription in different tissues, suggesting that they have probably been recruited to important biochemical pathways (e.g. nodulation and seed development).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular
  • F-Box Proteins / genetics*
  • F-Box Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Duplication*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Genome, Plant*
  • Medicago truncatula / genetics*
  • Medicago truncatula / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Soybeans / genetics*
  • Soybeans / metabolism
  • Synteny
  • Tandem Repeat Sequences
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • F-Box Proteins
  • Plant Proteins

Grants and funding

The authors acknowledge Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro and the following Brazilian funding agencies for supporting their research: Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ) (Grants E-26/110.236/2011 and E-26/111.314/2011), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (Grant 471929/2011-5) and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.