Genome-wide comparative analysis of putative bidirectional promoters from rice, Arabidopsis and Populus

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A bidirectional promoter can regulate the expression of two flanking genes arranged in a divergent manner. Although reports pertaining to bidirectional promoters on a genomic scale exist in mammals, little progress has been made in plants. In the present study, we performed a computational analysis of this unique class of promoters to identify overrepresented cis-regulatory motifs from three sequenced plant genomes: rice (Oryza sativa), Arabidopsis thaliana, and Populus trichocarpa using the Plant Cis-acting Regulatory DNA Elements (PLACE) and PLANT CARE databases. We describe these overrepresented elements and their possible regulatory mechanisms. We also discuss similarities and differences with human bidirectional promoters. Furthermore, we describe in detail a few coexpressed and evolutionarily conserved divergent gene pairs and their bidirectional promoters. This study provides insights into bidirectional promoters in three plant species, thereby laying a foundation for their experimental analysis. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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