RNA-Seq Analysis Reveals MAPKKK Family Members Related to Drought Tolerance in Maize.
ABSTRACT: The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that is involved in plant development and stress responses. As the first component of this phosphorelay cascade, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) act as adaptors linking upstream signaling steps to the core MAPK cascade to promote the appropriate cellular responses; however, the functions of MAPKKKs in maize are unclear. Here, we identified 71 MAPKKK genes, of which 14 were novel, based on a computational analysis of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome. Using an RNA-seq analysis in the leaf, stem and root of maize under well-watered and drought-stress conditions, we identified 5,866 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 8 MAPKKK genes responsive to drought stress. Many of the DEGs were enriched in processes such as drought stress, abiotic stimulus, oxidation-reduction, and metabolic processes. The other way round, DEGs involved in processes such as oxidation, photosynthesis, and starch, proline, ethylene, and salicylic acid metabolism were clearly co-expressed with the MAPKKK genes. Furthermore, a quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis was performed to assess the relative expression levels of MAPKKKs. Correlation analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation between expression levels of two MAPKKKs and relative biomass responsive to drought in 8 inbred lines. Our results indicate that MAPKKKs may have important regulatory functions in drought tolerance in maize.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade is an evolutionarily conserved signal transduction pathway that is involved in plant development and stress responses. As the first component of this phosphorelay cascade, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) act as adaptors linking upstream signaling steps to the core MAPK cascade to promote the appropriate cellular responses; however, the functions of MAPKKKs in maize are unclear. Here, we identified 71 MAPKKK genes, of which 14 were novel, based on a computational analysis of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome. Using an RNA-seq analysis in the leaf, stem and root of maize under well-watered and drought-stress conditions, we identified 5,866 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), including 8 MAPKKK genes responsive to drought stress. Many of the DEGs were enriched in processes such as drought stress, abiotic stimulus, oxidation-reduction, and metabolic processes. The other way round, DEGs involved in processes such as oxidation, photosynthesis, and starch, proline, ethylene, and salicylic acid metabolism were clearly co-expressed with the MAPKKK genes. Furthermore, a quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis was performed to assess the relative expression levels of MAPKKKs. Correlation analysis revealed that there was a significant correlation between expression levels of two MAPKKKs and relative biomass responsive to drought in 8 inbred lines. Our results indicate that MAPKKKs may have important regulatory functions in drought tolerance in maize. Overall design: Totally six samples, two treatments and three organs
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs), an important unit of MAPK cascade, play crucial roles in plant development and response to various stresses. However, little is known concerning the MAPKKK family in the important subtropical and tropical crop cassava. In this study, 62 MAPKKK genes were identified in the cassava genome, and were classified into 3 subfamilies based on phylogenetic analysis. Most of MAPKKKs in the same subfamily shared similar gene structures and conserved motifs. The comprehensive transcriptome analysis showed that MAPKKK genes participated in tissue development and response to drought stress. Comparative expression profiles revealed that many MAPKKK genes were activated in cultivated varieties SC124 and Arg7 and the function of MeMAPKKKs in drought resistance may be different between SC124/Arg7 and W14. Expression analyses of the 7 selected MeMAPKKK genes showed that most of them were significantly upregulated by osmotic, salt and ABA treatments, whereas slightly induced by H<sub>2</sub>O<sub>2</sub> and cold stresses. Taken together, this study identified candidate MeMAPKKK genes for genetic improvement of abiotic stress resistance and provided new insights into MAPKKK -mediated cassava resistance to drought stress.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs; MAP3Ks) are important components of MAPK cascades, which are highly conserved signal transduction pathways in animals, yeast and plants, play important roles in plant growth and development. MAPKKKs have been investigated on their evolution and expression patterns in limited plants including Arabidopsis, rice and maize. RESULTS: In this study, we performed a genome-wide survey and identified 45 MAPKKK genes in the grapevine genome. Chromosome location, phylogeny, gene structure and conserved protein motifs of MAPKKK family in grapevine have been analyzed to support the prediction of these genes. In the phylogenetic analysis, MAPKKK genes of grapevine have been classified into three subgroups as described for Arabidopsis, named MEKK, ZIK and RAF, also confirmed in grapevine by the analysis of conserved motifs and exon-intron organizations. By analyzing expression profiles of MAPKKK genes in grapevine microarray databases, we highlighted the modulation of different MAPKKKs in different organs and distinct developmental stages. Furthermore, we experimentally investigated the expression profiles of 45 grape MAPKKK genes in response to biotic (powdery mildew) and abiotic stress (drought), as well as to hormone (salicylic acid, ethylene) and hydrogen peroxide treatments, and identified several candidate MAPKKK genes that might play an important role in biotic and abiotic responses in grapevine, for further functional characterization. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first comprehensive experimental survey of the grapevine MAPKKK gene family, which provides insights into their potential roles in regulating responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, and the evolutionary expansion of MAPKKKs is associated with the diverse requirement in transducing external and internal signals into intracellular actions in MAPK cascade in grapevine.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are highly conserved signal transduction model in animals, yeast and plants. Plant MAPK cascades have been implicated in development and stress responses. Although MAPKKKs have been investigated in several plant species including Arabidopsis and rice, no systematic analysis has been conducted in maize. In this study, we performed a bioinformatics analysis of the entire maize genome and identified 74 MAPKKK genes. Phylogenetic analyses of MAPKKKs from maize, rice and Arabidopsis have classified them into three subgroups, which included Raf, ZIK and MEKK. Evolutionary relationships within subfamilies were also supported by exon-intron organizations and the conserved protein motifs. Further expression analysis of the MAPKKKs in microarray databases revealed that MAPKKKs were involved in important signaling pathways in maize different organs and developmental stages. Our genomics analysis of maize MAPKKK genes provides important information for evolutionary and functional characterization of this family in maize.
Project description:Plant mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play important roles in development and stress responses. In previous studies, we have systematically investigated the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MKK) and MAPK gene families in cotton. However, the complete interactions between MAPK gene family members in MAPK signaling cascade is poorly characterized. Herein, we investigated the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) family members and identified a total of 89 MAPKKK genes in the Gossypium raimondii genome. We cloned 51 MAPKKKs in G. hirsutum and investigated the interactions between MKK and MAPKKK proteins through yeast-two hybrid assays. A total of 18 interactive protein pairs involved in 14 MAPKKKs and six MKKs were found. Among these, 13 interactive pairs had not been reported previously. Gene expression patterns revealed that 12 MAPKKKs were involved in diverse signaling pathways triggered by hormone treatments or abiotic stresses. By combining the MKK-MAPK and MKK-MAPKKK protein interactions with gene expression patterns, 38 potential MAPK signaling modules involved in the complicated cross-talks were identified, which provide a basis on elucidating biological function of the MAPK cascade in response to hormonal and/or stress responses. The systematic investigation in MAPK signaling cascades will lay a foundation for understanding the functional roles of different MAPK cascades in signal transduction pathways, and for the improvement of various defense responses in cotton.
Project description:The Spc1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade in fission yeast is activated by two MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK) paralogues, Wis4 and Win1, in response to multiple forms of environmental stress. Previous studies identified Mcs4, a "response regulator" protein that associates with the MAPKKKs and receives peroxide stress signals by phosphorelay from the Mak2/Mak3 sensor histidine kinases. Here we show that Mcs4 has an unexpected, phosphorelay-independent function in promoting heteromer association between the Wis4 and Win1 MAPKKKs. Only one of the MAPKKKs in the heteromer complex needs to be catalytically active, but disturbing the integrity of the complex by mutations to Mcs4, Wis4, or Win1 results in reduced MAPKKK-MAPKK interaction and, consequently, compromised MAPK activation. The physical interaction among Mcs4, Wis4, and Win1 is constitutive and not responsive to stress stimuli. Therefore the Mcs4-MAPKKK heteromer complex might serve as a stable platform/scaffold for signaling proteins that convey input and output of different stress signals. The Wis4-Win1 complex discovered in fission yeast demonstrates that heteromer-mediated mechanisms are not limited to mammalian MAPKKKs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) are significant components in the MAPK signal pathway and play essential roles in regulating plants against drought stress. To explore MAPKKK gene family functioning in cotton response and resistance to drought stress, we conducted a systematic analysis of GhMAPKKKs. RESULTS:In this study, 157 nonredundant GhMAPKKKs (including 87 RAFs, 46 MEKKs and 24 ZIKs) were identified in cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). These GhMAPKKK genes are unevenly distributed on 26 chromosomes, and segmental duplication is the major way for the enlargement of MAPKKK family. Furthermore, members within the same subfamily share a similar gene structure and motif composition. A lot of cis-elements relevant to plant growth and response to stresses are distributed in promoter regions of GhMAPKKKs. Additionally, these GhMAPKKKs show differential expression patterns in cotton tissues. The transcription levels of most genes were markedly altered in cotton under heat, cold and PEG treatments, while the expressions of some GhMAPKKKs were induced in cotton under drought stress. Among these drought-induced genes, we selected GhRAF4 and GhMEKK12 for further functional characterization by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) method. The experimental results indicated that the gene-silenced cotton displayed decreased tolerance to drought stress. Malondialdehyde (MDA) content was higher, but proline accumulation, relative leaf water content and activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) were lower in the gene-silenced cotton, compared with those in the controls, under drought stress. CONCLUSION:Collectively, a systematic survey of gene structure, chromosomal location, motif composition and evolutionary relationship of MAPKKKs were performed in upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum). The following expression and functional study showed that some of them take important parts in cotton drought tolerance. Thus, the data presented here may provide a foundation for further investigating the roles of GhMAPKKKs in cotton response and resistance to drought stress.
Project description:The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade consists of three types of reversibly phosphorylated kinases, namely, MAPK, MAPK kinase (MAPKK/MEK), and MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK/MEKK), playing important roles in plant growth, development, and defense response. The MAPK cascade genes have been investigated in detail in model plants, including Arabidopsis, rice, and tomato, but poorly characterized in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.), a major popular vegetable in Cucurbitaceae crops, which is highly susceptible to environmental stress and pathogen attack.A genome-wide analysis revealed the presence of at least 14 MAPKs, 6 MAPKKs, and 59 MAPKKKs in the cucumber genome. Phylogenetic analyses classified all the CsMAPK and CsMAPKK genes into four groups, whereas the CsMAPKKK genes were grouped into the MEKK, RAF, and ZIK subfamilies. The expansion of these three gene families was mainly contributed by segmental duplication events. Furthermore, the ratios of non-synonymous substitution rates (Ka) and synonymous substitution rates (Ks) implied that the duplicated gene pairs had experienced strong purifying selection. Real-time PCR analysis demonstrated that some MAPK, MAPKK and MAPKKK genes are preferentially expressed in specific organs or tissues. Moreover, the expression levels of most of these genes significantly changed under heat, cold, drought, and Pseudoperonospora cubensis treatments. Exposure to abscisic acid and jasmonic acid markedly affected the expression levels of these genes, thereby implying that they may play important roles in the plant hormone network.A comprehensive genome-wide analysis of gene structure, chromosomal distribution, and evolutionary relationship of MAPK cascade genes in cucumber are present here. Further expression analysis revealed that these genes were involved in important signaling pathways for biotic and abiotic stress responses in cucumber, as well as the response to plant hormones. Our first systematic description of the MAPK, MAPKK, and MAPKKK families in cucumber will help to elucidate their biological roles in plant.
Project description:In fission yeast, the Sty1/Spc1/Phh1 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is known to be involved in multiple-stress responses. It is currently thought that the Sty1 MAPK cascade is mediated by histidine kinases and phosphorelay proteins in response to oxidative stress signals. However, studies of the exact transduction mechanism of multiple-stress responses are lacking. Thus, in response to various stimuli, we monitored the Sty1 MAPK pathway through the downstream transcription factor Atf1 in living cells using a highly sensitive luciferase reporter gene. Surprisingly, in cadmium and low glucose (LG) medium, Atf1 activation was observed even in the absence of all of the four fission yeast MAPK kinase kinases (MAPKKKs); whereas in osmotic stress, Atf1 activation was abolished. Thus, the osmotic stress likely mediates the MAPK activation via MAPKKKs, whereas a cadmium or LG condition activates the MAPK in a MAPKKK-independent manner. On the other hand, knockout of tyrosine phosphatase gene pyp1(+) abolished the Atf1 response to cadmium and LG, but not to osmotic stress, suggesting that Pyp1 is a sensor for cadmium and LG.
Project description:Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade signal transduction modules play crucial roles in regulating many biological processes in plants. These cascades are composed of three classes of hierarchically organized protein kinases, MAPKKKs, MAPKKs and MAPKs. Here, we analyzed gene retention, phylogenetic, evolution and expression patterns of MAPK cascade genes in Brassica rapa. We further found that the MAPK branches, classes III and IV, appeared after the split of bryophytes and green algae after analyzing the MAPK cascade genes in 8 species, and their rapid expansion led to the great size of the families of MAPKs. In contrast, the ancestral class I subfamily of MAPKK gene families have been highly conserved from algae to angiosperms. For the MAPKKK family, the MEKK and Raf subfamily share a common evolutionary origin, and Raf plays a major role in the expansion of the MAPKKK gene family. The cis-elements and interaction network analyses showed the important function of MAPK cascade genes in development and stress responses in B. rapa. This study provides a solid foundation for molecular evolution analyses of MAPK cascade genes.