2016 年 91 巻 2 号 p. 85-95
PRC2 genes were analyzed for their number of gene duplications, dN/dS ratios and expression patterns among Brassicaceae and Gramineae species. Although both amino acid sequences and copy number of the PRC2 genes were generally well conserved in both Brassicaceae and Gramineae species, we observed that some rapidly evolving genes experienced duplications and expression pattern changes. After multiple duplication events, all but one or two of the duplicated copies tend to be silenced. Silenced copies were reactivated in the endosperm and showed ectopic expression in developing seeds. The results indicated that rapid evolution of some PRC2 genes is initially caused by a relaxation of selective constraint following the gene duplication events. Several loci could become maternally expressed imprinted genes and acquired functional roles in the endosperm.