The nucleotide sequence of a nodule-specific gene, Nms-25 of Medicago sativa: its primary evolution via exon-shuffling and retrotransposon-mediated DNA rearrangements

Zoltán Végh, Éva Vincze, Rafael Kadirov, Gábor Tóth, György Botond Kiss

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We present the primary structure of a nudule-specific gene, Nms-25 from Medicago sativa L. cultivar Nagyszénási. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of Nms-25 revealed that this gene shows all the characteristics of an interrupted plant gene consisting of 13 exons and 12 introns. The promoter region of Nms-25 contains the common promoter elements of plant genes as well as motifs which are supposed to be involved in nodule-specific expression. There are two exon-like sequences in the gene named PE1 and PE2 which are not present in the cDNA clones of Medicago sativa cultivar Cardinal. Intron 9 carries a retrotransposon-like element, Tms1, which might be responsible for downstream deletion events in which a heptanucleotide, ATTAGCT, might have been involved. Most of the exons, exept 1, 12 and 13, are similar to each other both in length (54 bp) and sequence (up to 94% sequence similarity). All exons are interrupted by introns in the same phase (type I). It is suggested that exon-shuffling based on illegitimate recombination in which the ATTAGCT motif might have played an active role, and retrotransposon-mediated DNA rearrangements were the primary events in the molecular evolution of the Nms-25 gene. The nucleotide sequence of the genomic clone of Nms-25 from Medicago sativa is available from the EMBL/GenBank/DDBJ Nucleotide Sequence Databases under the accession number X13287.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-306
Number of pages12
JournalPlant molecular biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 1990



  • Medicago sativa (alfalfa)
  • Nms-25 (nodulin-25) DNA sequence
  • evolution by exon-shuffling
  • nodule-specific gene
  • retrotransposon
  • symbiotic nitrogen fixation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science

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