Utility and distribution of conserved noncoding sequences in the grasses

Nicholas J. Kaplinsky, David M. Braun, Jon Penterman, Stephen A. Goff, Michael Freeling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Control of gene expression requires cis-acting regulatory DNA sequences. Historically these sequences have been difficult to identify. Conserved noncoding sequences (CNSs) have recently been identified in mammalian genes through cross-species genomic DNA comparisons, and some have been shown to be regulatory sequences. Using sequence alignment algorithms, we compared genomic noncoding DNA sequences of the liguleless1 (Igl) genes in two grasses, maize and rice, and found several CNSs in Igl. These CNSs are present in multiple grass species that represent phylogenetically disparate lineages. Six other maize/rice genes were compared and five contained CNSs. Based on nucleoide substitution rates, these CNSs exist because they have bioogical functions. Our analysis suggests that grass CNSs are smaller and far less frequent than those identified in mammalian genes and that mammalian gene regulation may be more complex than that of grasses. CNSs make excellent pan-grass PCR-based genetic mapping tools. They should be useful as characters in phylogenetic studies and as monitors of gene regulatory complexity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6147-6151
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
StatePublished - Apr 30 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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