Cloning and functional characterization of an O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase-encoding gene in wild soybean (Glycine soja)

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The terminal step of soybean cysteine synthesis is catalyzed by O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase (OAS-TL, EC In this study, we isolated and characterized an OAS-TL gene from a wild soybean material (designated as GsOAS-TL1). GsOAS-TL1 cDNA sequence showed strict conservation at both nucleotide and amino acid levels compared with that from cultivated soybean. Genomic structure analysis of GsOAS-TL1 indicated that it contained 10 exons and 9 introns in the coding region with conserved exon sizes and intron locations compared with Arabidopsis thaliana OAS-TL-like genes. Among the complete GsOAS-TL1 cDNA and three part-deletion fragments, only expression of the full-length cDNA could rescue the NK3 cysEscherichia coli auxotroph, which was coherent with the assayed enzyme activity of purified fusion proteins. For RT-PCR analysis in different wild soybean tissues, GsOAS-TL1 showed lower expression in roots and developing seeds, whereas total OAS-TL activity of corresponding tissues showed significantly higher level in seeds than other tissues. To our knowledge, this is the first report on cloning and characterization of an OAS-TL gene from wild soybean. Our results are informative to further elucidate the function and evolution of OAS-TL in soybean.

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