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Genetics and Molecular Biology

Print version ISSN 1415-4757On-line version ISSN 1678-4685


COSTA, R.M.A. et al. DNA repair-related genes in sugarcane expressed sequence tags (ESTs). Genet. Mol. Biol. [online]. 2001, vol.24, n.1-4, pp.131-140. ISSN 1415-4757.

There is much interest in the identification and characterization of genes involved in DNA repair because of their importance in the maintenance of the genome integrity. The high level of conservation of DNA repair genes means that these genetic elements may be used in phylogenetic studies as a source of information on the genetic origin and evolution of species. The mechanisms by which damaged DNA is repaired are well understood in bacteria, yeast and mammals, but much remains to be learned as regards plants. We identified genes involved in DNA repair mechanisms in sugarcane using a similarity search of the Brazilian Sugarcane Expressed Sequence Tag (SUCEST) database against known sequences deposited in other public databases (National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database and the Munich Information Center for Protein Sequences (MIPS) Arabidopsis thaliana database). This search revealed that most of the various proteins involved in DNA repair in sugarcane are similar to those found in other eukaryotes. However, we also identified certain intriguing features found only in plants, probably due to the independent evolution of this kingdom. The DNA repair mechanisms investigated include photoreactivation, base excision repair, nucleotide excision repair, mismatch repair, non-homologous end joining, homologous recombination repair and DNA lesion tolerance. We report the main differences found in the DNA repair machinery in plant cells as compared to other organisms. These differences point to potentially different strategies plants employ to deal with DNA damage, that deserve further investigation.

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