Starch is one of the major components of cereals, tubers, and fruits. Genes encoding granule-bound starch synthase (GBSS), which is responsible for amylose synthesis, have been extensively studied in cereals but little is known about them in fruits. Due to their low copy gene number, GBSS genes have been used to study plant phylogenetic and evolutionary relationships. In this study, GBSS genes have been isolated and characterized in three fruit trees, including apple, peach, and orange. Moreover, a comprehensive evolutionary study of GBSS genes has also been conducted between both monocots and eudicots. Results have revealed that genomic structures of GBSS genes in plants are conserved, suggesting they all have evolved from a common ancestor. In addition, the GBSS gene in an ancestral angiosperm must have undergone genome duplication ∼251 million years ago (MYA) to generate two families, GBSSI and GBSSII. Both GBSSI and GBSSII are found in monocots; however, GBSSI is absent in eudicots. The ancestral GBSSII must have undergone further divergence when monocots and eudicots split ∼165 MYA. This is consistent with expression profiles of GBSS genes, wherein these profiles are more similar to those of GBSSII in eudicots than to those of GBSSI genes in monocots. In dicots, GBSSII must have undergone further divergence when rosids and asterids split from each other ∼126 MYA. Taken together, these findings suggest that it is GBSSII rather than GBSSI of monocots that have orthologous relationships with GBSS genes of eudicots. Moreover, diversification of GBSS genes is mainly associated with genome-wide duplication events throughout the evolutionary course of history of monocots and eudicots
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