Molecular characterization of the SPL gene family in Populus trichocarpa.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: SPLs, a family of transcription factors specific to plants, play vital roles in plant growth and development through regulation of various physiological and biochemical processes. Although Populus trichocarpa is a model forest tree, the PtSPL gene family has not been systematically studied. RESULTS: Here we report the identification of 28 full-length PtSPLs, which distribute on 14 P. trichocarpa chromosomes. Based on the phylogenetic relationships of SPLs in P. trichocarpa and Arabidopsis, plant SPLs can be classified into 6 groups. Each group contains at least a PtSPL and an AtSPL. The N-terminal zinc finger 1 (Zn1) of SBP domain in group 6 SPLs has four cysteine residues (CCCC-type), while Zn1 of SPLs in the other groups mainly contains three cysteine and one histidine residues (C2HC-type). Comparative analyses of gene structures, conserved motifs and expression patterns of PtSPLs and AtSPLs revealed the conservation of plant SPLs within a group, whereas among groups, the P. trichocarpa and Arabidopsis SPLs were significantly different. Various conserved motifs were identified in PtSPLs but not found in AtSPLs, suggesting the diversity of plant SPLs. A total of 11 pairs of intrachromosome-duplicated PtSPLs were identified, suggesting the importance of gene duplication in SPL gene expansion in P. trichocarpa. In addition, 18 of the 28 PtSPLs, belonging to G1, G2 and G5, were found to be targets of miR156. Consistently, all of the AtSPLs in these groups are regulated by miR156. It suggests the conservation of miR156-mediated posttranscriptional regulation in plants. CONCLUSIONS: A total of 28 full-length SPLs were identified from the whole genome sequence of P. trichocarpa. Through comprehensive analyses of gene structures, phylogenetic relationships, chromosomal locations, conserved motifs, expression patterns and miR156-mediated posttranscriptional regulation, the PtSPL gene family was characterized. Our results provide useful information for evolution and biological function of plant SPLs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Accumulating evidences show that SPLs are crucial regulators of plant abiotic stress tolerance and the highly conserved module miR156/SPL appears to balance plant growth and stress responses. The halophyte Tamarix chinensis is highly resistant to salt tress. SPLs of T. chinensis (TcSPLs) and theirs roles in salt stress responses remain elusive. RESULTS:In this study, we conducted a systematic analysis of the TcSPLs gene family including 12 members belonging to 7 groups. The physicochemical properties and conserved motifs showed divergence among groups and similarity in each group. The microRNA response elements (MREs) are conserved in location and sequence, with the exception of first MRE within TcSPL5. The miR156-targeted SPLs are identified by dual-luciferase reporter assay of MRE-miR156 interaction. The digital expression gene profiles cluster suggested potential different functions of miR156-targeted SPLs vs non-targeted SPLs in response to salt stress. The expression patterns analysis of miR156-targeted SPLs with a reverse expression trend to TcmiR156 suggested 1 h (salt stress time) could be a critical time point of post-transcription regulation in salt stress responses. CONCLUSIONS:Our work demonstrated the post-transcription regulation of miR156-targeted TcSPLs and transcription regulation of non-targeted TcSPLs in salt stress responses, and would be helpful to expound the miR156/SPL-mediated molecular mechanisms underlying T. chinensis salt stress tolerance.
Project description:The SQUAMOSA-promoter binding like (SPL) gene family encodes transcription factors that have been shown in many species to influence plant growth and development, but information about these genes in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is limited. This study identified 17 barley SPL genes, within eight distinct groups, that are orthologs of SPL genes described in Arabidopsis, wheat, and rice. Sixteen barley SPLs undergo alternative splicing. Seven SPLs contain a putative miR156 target site and the transcript levels of the miR156-targeted HvSPLs (HvSPL3, 13 and 23) were lower in vegetative than in reproductive phase but this was true also for some SPL genes such as HvSPL6 that were not regulated by miR156. Because SPL gene products regulate miR172, which is also involved in floral development, the expression of miR172 was studied. An antagonistic expression pattern of miR156 and miR172b during the vegetative and the reproductive phases signifies their apparent function in barley growth phase transition. Characterization of a barley mir172 mutant having an abnormal, indeterminate spikelet phenotype suggests the possible feedback role of AP2/miR172 module on HvSPL genes. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the miR156/SPL/miR172 axis in barley that provides a basis to elucidate their roles in various biological processes.
Project description:SQUAMOSA promoter-binding protein-like (SPL), as plant specific transcription factors, is involved in many plant growth and development processes. However, there is less systematical study for SPL transcription factor in B. juncea (Cruciferae). Here, a total of 59 SPL genes classified into eight phylogenetic groups were identified in B. juncea, highly conserved within each ortholog were also found based on gene structure, conserved motif, as well as clustering level. In addition, clustering of SPL domain showed that two zinc finger-like structures and NLS segments were identified in almost of BjuSPLs. Analyzed of putative cis-elements for BjuSPLs demonstrated that SPL transcription factors were involved in adverse environmental changes, such as light, plant stresses and phytohormones response. Expression analysis showed that differentially expressed SPL genes were identified in flower and stem development of Cruciferae; such as BjuSPL3a-B, BjuSPL2b_B and BjuSPL2c_A were significantly expressed in flower; BjuSPL 3b_B and BjuSPL10a_A were significantly expressed in stem node (VP: vegetative period). Moreover, 28 of the 59 BjuSPLs were found involved in their posttranscriptional regulation targeted by miR156. We demonstrated that miR156 negatively regulated BjuSPL10a_A and BjuSPL3b_B to act for stem development in B. juncea.
Project description:SQUAMOSA-promoter binding like proteins (SBPs/SPLs) are plant specific transcription factors targeted by miR156 and involved in various biological pathways, playing multi-faceted developmental roles. This gene family is not well characterized in Brachypodium. We identified a total of 18 SBP genes in B. distachyon genome. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that SBP gene family in Brachypodium expanded through large scale duplication. A total of 10 BdSBP genes were identified as targets of miR156. Transcript cleavage analysis of selected BdSBPs by miR156 confirmed their antagonistic connection. Alternative splicing was observed playing an important role in BdSBPs and miR156 interaction. Characterization of T-DNA Bdsbp9 mutant showed reduced plant growth and spike length, reflecting its involvement in the spike development. Expression of a majority of BdSBPs elevated during spikelet initiation. Specifically, BdSBP1 and BdSBP3 differentially expressed in response to vernalization. Differential transcript abundance of BdSBP1, BdSBP3, BdSBP8, BdSBP9, BdSBP14, BdSBP18 and BdSBP23 genes was observed during the spike development under high temperature. Co-expression network, protein-protein interaction and biological pathway analysis indicate that BdSBP genes mainly regulate transcription, hormone, RNA and transport pathways. Our work reveals the multi-layered control of SBP genes and demonstrates their association with spike development and temperature sensitivity in Brachypodium.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a type of short (21-23 nucleotides), non-coding RNA molecule, mediate repressive gene regulation through RNA silencing at the post-transcriptional level, and play an important role in defense and response to abiotic and biotic stresses. In the present study, Affymetrix® miRNA Array, real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) for miRNAs and their targets, and miRNA promoter analysis were used to validate the gene expression patterns of miRNAs in Populus trichocarpa plantlets induced with the poplar stem canker pathogen, Botryosphaeria dothidea. Twelve miRNAs (miR156, miR159, miR160, miR164, miR166, miR168, miR172, miR319, miR398, miR408, miR1448, and miR1450) were upregulated in the stem bark of P. trichocarpa, but no downregulated miRNAs were found. Based on analysis of the miRNAs and their targets, a potential co-regulatory network was developed to describe post-transcriptional regulation in the pathological development of poplar stem canker. There was highly complex cross-talk between diverse miRNA pathway responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. The results suggest that miR156 is probably an integral component of the miRNA response to all environmental stresses in plants. Cis-regulatory elements were binding sites for the transcription factors (TFs) on DNA. Promoter analysis revealed that TC-rich repeats and a W1-box motif were both tightly related disease response motifs in Populus. Promoter analysis and target analysis of miRNAs also revealed that some TFs regulate their activation/repression. Furthermore, a feedback regulatory network in the pathological development of poplar stem canker is provided. The results confirm that miRNA pathways regulate gene expression during the pathological development of plant disease, and provide new insights into understanding the onset and development of poplar stem canker.
Project description:The SPL (SQUAMOSA promoter binding protein-like) gene family is one of the plant-specific transcription factor families and controls a considerable number of biological functions, including floral development, phytohormone signaling, and toxin resistance. However, the evolutionary patterns and driving forces of SPL genes in the Oryza genus are still not well-characterized. In this study, we investigated a total of 105 SPL genes from six AA genome Oryza representative species (O. barthii, O. glumipatula, O. nivara, O. rufipogon, O. glaberrima, and O. sativa). Phylogenetic and motif analyses indicated that SPL proteins could be divided into two distinct lineages (I and II), and further studies showed lineage II consisted of three clades (IIA, IIB, and IIC). We found that clade I had comparable structural features with clade IIA, whereas genes in clade IIC displayed intrinsic differences, such as lower exon numbers and the presence of miR156 regulation elements. Nineteen orthologous groups of OsSPLs in Oryza were also identified, and most exons within those genes maintained constant length, whereas length of intron changed relatively. All groups were constrained by stronger purifying selection and diversified continually including alterative gene number, intron length, and miR156 regulation. Subsequently, cis-acting element analyses revealed the potential role of SPLs in wild rice, which might participate in light-responsive, phytohormone response, and plant growth and development. Our results shed light on that different evolutionary rates and duplication events might result in divergent evolutionary patterns in each lineage of SPL genes, providing a guide in exploring diverse function in the rice gene family among six closely related Oryza species.
Project description:SQUAMOSA promoter-binding protein-like (SPL) transcription factors play vital roles in various plant physiological processes. Although, the identification of the SPL gene family has been done in C4 grass plants, including rice and maize, the same has not been characterized in the C3 grass species Dichanthelium oligosanthes. In this study, 14 SPL genes were identified in the genome of D. oligosanthes. Gene structure analysis of the identified DoSPLs revealed the similarity and redundancy in their exon/intron organizations. Sequence comparisons within the DoSPLs and along with rice SPLs revealed the putative paralogs and orthologs in D. oligosanthes SPL genes. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the DoSPLs into eight groups along with other plant SPLs. Identification of the conserved SBP motifs in all 14 DoSPLs suggested them to be putative SPLs. In addition, the prediction of sub-cellular localization and associated functions for DoSPLs further supported to be SPL genes. The outcome of this study can serve as a framework for the isolation and functional validation of SPL genes in D. oligosanthes.
Project description:The effects of microRNA156 overexpression on general plant architecture, branching, flowering time and nodulation were investigated in the model legume, Lotus japonicus. We cloned an miR156 homolog, LjmiR156a, from L. japonicus, and investigated its SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE (SPL) genes and its biological function at enhancing vegetative biomass yield, extending flowering time, and its impact on nodulation. Thirteen potential targets for LjmiR156 were identified in vitro and their expression profiles were determined in aerial and underground parts of mature plants, including genes coding for eight SPLs, one WD-40, one RNA-directed DNA polymerase, two transport proteins, and one histidine-phosphotransfer protein. Two SPL and one WD-40 cleavage targets for LjmiR156-TC70253, AU089191, and TC57859-were identified. Transgenic plants with ectopic expression of LjmiR156a showed enhanced branching, dramatically delayed flowering, underdeveloped roots, and reduced nodulation. We also examined the transcript levels of key genes involved in nodule organogenesis and infection thread formation to determine the role of miR156 in regulating symbiosis. Overexpression of LjmiR156a led to repression of several nodulation genes during the early stages of root development such as three ENOD genes, SymPK, POLLUX, CYCLOPS, Cerberus, and Nsp1, and the stimulation of NFR1. Our results show that miR156 regulates vegetative biomass yield, flowering time and nodulation by silencing downstream target SPLs and other genes, suggesting that the miR156 regulatory network could be modified in forage legumes (such as alfalfa and trefoils) and in leafy vegetables (like lettuce and spinach) to positively impact economically valuable crop species.
Project description:The DNA-binding One Zinc Finger (Dof) genes are ubiquitous in many plant species and are especial transcription regulators that participate in plant growth, development and various procedures, including biotic and abiotic stress reactions. In this study, we identified 41 PtrDof members from Populus trichocarpa genomes and classified them into four groups. The conserved motifs and gene structures of some PtrDof genes belonging to the same subgroup were almost the same. The 41 PtrDof genes were dispersed on 18 of the 19 Populus chromosomes. Many key stress- or phytohormone-related cis-elements were discovered in the PtrDof gene promoter regions. Consequently, we undertook expression profiling of the PtrDof genes in leaves and roots in response to osmotic stress and abscisic acid. A total of seven genes (PtrDof14, 16, 25, 27, 28, 37 and 39) in the Populus Dof gene family were consistently upregulated at point in all time in the leaves and roots under osmotic and abscisic acid (ABA) stress. We observed that 12 PtrDof genes could be targeted by 15 miRNAs. Moreover, we mapped the cleavage site in PtrDof30 using the 5'RLM-RACE. The results showed that PtrDofs may have a role in resistance to abiotic stress in Populus trichocarpa.
Project description:The miR156-targeted squamosa promoter binding protein like (SPL) transcription factors function as an endogenous age cue in regulating plant phase transition and phase-dependent morphogenesis, but the control of SPL output remains poorly understood. In Arabidopsis thaliana the spatial pattern of trichome is a hallmark of phase transition and governed by SPLs. Here, by dissecting the regulatory network controlling trichome formation on stem, we show that the miR171-targeted lost meristems 1 (LOM1), LOM2 and LOM3, encoding GRAS family members previously known to maintain meristem cell polarity, are involved in regulating the SPL activity. Reduced LOM abundance by overexpression of miR171 led to decreased trichome density on stems and floral organs, and conversely, constitutive expression of the miR171-resistant LOM (rLOM) genes promoted trichome production, indicating that LOMs enhance trichome initiation at reproductive stage. Genetic analysis demonstrated LOMs shaping trichome distribution is dependent on SPLs, which positively regulate trichome repressor genes TRICHOMELESS 1 (TCL1) and TRIPTYCHON (TRY). Physical interaction between the N-terminus of LOMs and SPLs underpins the repression of SPL activity. Importantly, other growth and developmental events, such as flowering, are also modulated by LOM-SPL interaction, indicating a broad effect of the LOM-SPL interplay. Furthermore, we provide evidence that MIR171 gene expression is regulated by its targeted LOMs, forming a homeostatic feedback loop. Our data uncover an antagonistic interplay between the two timing miRNAs in controlling plant growth, phase transition and morphogenesis through direct interaction of their targets.