Amino acid sequence alignments of the five most unusual candidate genes. (A) DHN1, a conifer-specific dehydrin, was found to be composed of three variants (see Additional file 2 for more information). Conserved substitutions are highlighted in yellow and the two dehydrin domains are bolded. (B, C) QT-repeat and proline-rich candidates that appear to be unique to conifers, aligned to highlight their highly repetitive structure. (D) PgPI20a/b aligned with representative angiosperm homologs, which encode for highly conserved, small molecular weight serine protease inhibitors belonging to an unassigned subclass of the MEROPS I20 family (MER201390). Populus trichocarpa (EEF00358), Arabidopsis thaliana (At1G72060), Zea mays (EF406275). See Additional file 3 for amino sequence alignments of the remaining three candidates.