Genome-Wide Analysis of the AP2/ERF Gene Family in Physic Nut and Overexpression of the JcERF011 Gene in Rice Increased Its Sensitivity to Salinity Stress.
ABSTRACT: The AP2/ERF transcription factors play crucial roles in plant growth, development and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. A total of 119 AP2/ERF genes (JcAP2/ERFs) have been identified in the physic nut genome; they include 16 AP2, 4 RAV, 1 Soloist, and 98 ERF genes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that physic nut AP2 genes could be divided into 3 subgroups, while ERF genes could be classed into 11 groups or 43 subgroups. The AP2/ERF genes are non-randomly distributed across the 11 linkage groups of the physic nut genome and retain many duplicates which arose from ancient duplication events. The expression patterns of several JcAP2/ERF duplicates in the physic nut showed differences among four tissues (root, stem, leaf, and seed), and 38 JcAP2/ERF genes responded to at least one abiotic stressor (drought, salinity, phosphate starvation, and nitrogen starvation) in leaves and/or roots according to analysis of digital gene expression tag data. The expression of JcERF011 was downregulated by salinity stress in physic nut roots. Overexpression of the JcERF011 gene in rice plants increased its sensitivity to salinity stress. The increased expression levels of several salt tolerance-related genes were impaired in the JcERF011-overexpressing plants under salinity stress.
Project description:The NAC proteins (NAM, ATAF1/2 and CUC2) are plant-specific transcriptional regulators that have a conserved NAM domain in the N-terminus. They are involved in various biological processes, including both biotic and abiotic stress responses. In the present study, a total of 100 NAC genes (JcNAC) were identified in physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.). Based on phylogenetic analysis and gene structures, 83 JcNAC genes were classified as members of, or proposed to be diverged from, 39 previously predicted orthologous groups (OGs) of NAC sequences. Physic nut has a single intron-containing NAC gene subfamily that has been lost in many plants. The JcNAC genes are non-randomly distributed across the 11 linkage groups of the physic nut genome, and appear to be preferentially retained duplicates that arose from both ancient and recent duplication events. Digital gene expression analysis indicates that some of the JcNAC genes have tissue-specific expression profiles (e.g. in leaves, roots, stem cortex or seeds), and 29 genes differentially respond to abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, phosphorus deficiency and nitrogen deficiency). Our results will be helpful for further functional analysis of the NAC genes in physic nut.
Project description:Physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.) is highly tolerant of barren environments and a significant biofuel plant. To probe mechanisms of its tolerance mechanisms, we have analyzed genome-wide transcriptional profiles of 8-week-old physic nut seedlings subjected to Pi deficiency (P-) for 2 and 16 days, and Pi-sufficient conditions (P+) controls. We identified several phosphate transporters, purple acid phosphatases, and enzymes of membrane lipid metabolism among the 272 most differentially expressed genes. Genes of the miR399/PHO2 pathway (IPS, miR399, and members of the SPX family) showed alterations in expression. We also found that expression of several transcription factor genes was modulated by phosphate starvation stress in physic nut seedlings, including an AP2/ERF gene (JcERF035), which was down-regulated in both root and leaf tissues under Pi-deprivation. In JcERF035-overexpressing Arabidopsis lines both numbers and lengths of first-order lateral roots were dramatically reduced, but numbers of root hairs on the primary root tip were significantly elevated, under both P+ and P- conditions. Furthermore, the transgenic plants accumulated less anthocyanin but had similar Pi contents to wild-type plants under P-deficiency conditions. Expression levels of the tested genes related to anthocyanin biosynthesis and regulation, and genes induced by low phosphate, were significantly lower in shoots of transgenic lines than in wild-type plants under P-deficiency. Our data show that down-regulation of the JcERF035 gene might contribute to the regulation of root system architecture and both biosynthesis and accumulation of anthocyanins in aerial tissues of plants under low Pi conditions.
Project description:Transcription factors of the AP2/ERF family play important roles in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. In this study, a physic nut AP2/ERF gene, JcDREB2, was functionally characterized. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that JcDREB2 was expressed mainly in the leaf and could be induced by abscisic acid but suppressed by gibberellin (GA) and salt. Transient expression of a JcDREB2-YFP fusion protein in Arabidopsis protoplasts cells suggested that JcDREB2 is localized in the nucleus. Rice plants overexpressing JcDREB2 exhibited dwarf and GA-deficient phenotypes with shorter shoots and roots than those of wild-type plants. The dwarfism phenotype could be rescued by the application of exogenous GA3. The expression levels of GA biosynthetic genes including OsGA20ox1, OsGA20ox2, OsGA20ox4, OsGA3ox2, OsCPS1, OsKO2, and OsKAO were significantly reduced in plants overexpressing JcDREB2. Overexpression of JcDREB2 in rice increased sensitivity to salt stress. Increases in the expression levels of several salt-tolerance-related genes in response to salt stress were impaired in JcDREB2-overexpressing plants. These results demonstrated not only that JcDREB2 influences GA metabolism, but also that it can participate in the regulation of the salt stress response in rice.
Project description:The AP2/ERF transcription factor family, one of the largest families unique to plants, performs a significant role in terms of regulation of growth and development, and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is a fast-growing non-timber forest species with the highest ecological, economic and social values of all bamboos in Asia. The draft genome of moso bamboo and the available genomes of other plants provide great opportunities to research global information on the AP2/ERF family in moso bamboo. In total, 116 AP2/ERF transcription factors were identified in moso bamboo. The phylogeny analyses indicated that the 116 AP2/ERF genes could be divided into three subfamilies: AP2, RAV and ERF; and the ERF subfamily genes were divided into 11 groups. The gene structures, exons/introns and conserved motifs of the PeAP2/ERF genes were analyzed. Analysis of the evolutionary patterns and divergence showed the PeAP2/ERF genes underwent a large-scale event around 15 million years ago (MYA) and the division time of AP2/ERF family genes between rice and moso bamboo was 15-23 MYA. We surveyed the putative promoter regions of the PeDREBs and showed that largely stress-related cis-elements existed in these genes. Further analysis of expression patterns of PeDREBs revealed that the most were strongly induced by drought, low-temperature and/or high salinity stresses in roots and, in contrast, most PeDREB genes had negative functions in leaves under the same respective stresses. In this study there were two main interesting points: there were fewer members of the PeDREB subfamily in moso bamboo than in other plants and there were differences in DREB gene expression profiles between leaves and roots triggered in response to abiotic stress. The information produced from this study may be valuable in overcoming challenges in cultivating moso bamboo.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Salt stress interferes with plant growth and production. Plants have evolved a series of molecular and morphological adaptations to cope with this abiotic stress, and overexpression of salt response genes reportedly enhances the productivity of various crops. However, little is known about the salt responsive genes in the energy plant physic nut (Jatropha curcas L.). Thus, excavate salt responsive genes in this plant are informative in uncovering the molecular mechanisms for the salt response in physic nut.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We applied next-generation Illumina sequencing technology to analyze global gene expression profiles of physic nut plants (roots and leaves) 2 hours, 2 days and 7 days after the onset of salt stress. A total of 1,504 and 1,115 genes were significantly up and down-regulated in roots and leaves, respectively, under salt stress condition. Gene ontology (GO) analysis of physiological process revealed that, in the physic nut, many "biological processes" were affected by salt stress, particular those categories belong to "metabolic process", such as "primary metabolism process", "cellular metabolism process" and "macromolecule metabolism process". The gene expression profiles indicated that the associated genes were responsible for ABA and ethylene signaling, osmotic regulation, the reactive oxygen species scavenging system and the cell structure in physic nut.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>The major regulated genes detected in this transcriptomic data were related to trehalose synthesis and cell wall structure modification in roots, while related to raffinose synthesis and reactive oxygen scavenger in leaves. The current study shows a comprehensive gene expression profile of physic nut under salt stress. The differential expression genes detected in this study allows the underling the salt responsive mechanism in physic nut with the aim of improving its salt resistance in the future.
Project description:Auxin response factors (ARF) are important transcription factors which mediate the transcription of auxin responsive genes by binding directly to auxin response elements (AuxREs) found in the promoter regions of these genes. To date, no information has been available about the genome-wide organization of the ARF transcription factor family in physic nut. In this study, 17 ARF genes (JcARFs) are identified in the physic nut genome. A detailed investigation into the physic nut ARF gene family is performed, including analysis of the exon-intron structure, conserved domains, conserved motifs, phylogeny, chromosomal locations, potential small RNA targets and expression profiles under various conditions. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that the 17 JcARF proteins are clustered into 6 groups, and most JcARF proteins from the physic nut reveal closer relationships with those from Arabidopsis than those from rice. Of the 17 JcARF genes, eight are predicted to be the potential targets of small RNAs; most of the genes show differential patterns of expression among four tissues (root, stem cortex, leaf, and seed); and qRT-PCR indicates that the expression of all JcARF genes is inhibited or induced in response to exogenous auxin. Expression profile analysis based on RNA-seq data shows that in leaves, 11 of the JcARF genes respond to at least one abiotic stressor (drought and/or salinity) at, as a minimum, at least one time point. Our results provide valuable information for further studies on the roles of JcARF genes in regulating physic nut's growth, development and responses to abiotic stress.
Project description:One of the most prominent families of genes in plants is the AP2/ERF which play an important role in regulating plant growth and responses to various stresses. In this research, a genome-wide survey was conducted to recognize the AP2/ERF genes in sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), and a total of 288 HaAP2/ERF was obtained. Phylogenetic analysis divided them into four sub-families, including 248 ERF, 4 RAV and 35 AP2, and one subgroup of the Soloist family. Localization of chromosome, gene structure, the conserved motif, gene ontology, interaction networks, homology modeling, the modeling of cis-regulatory elements and the analysis of events in the duplication of genes were carried out for HaAP2/ERF genes. Finally, 9AP2/ERF genes were chosen to confirm the gene expression of the selected genes in leaf and root tissues in various abiotic stress conditions by qPCR. The results confirmed that AP2/ERFs genes could effectively resist abiotic stress. Also, proline content was studied under drought, salinity, cold and heat stress. The results indicated that proline was increased under abiotic stress. This research has been done for the first time to determine the HaAP2/ERF family, which prepared valuable data for the evolutionary and practical research regarding AP2/ERF in sunflower.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Physic nut (Jatropha curcas), an inedible oilseed plant, is among the most promising alternative energy sources because of its high oil content, rapid growth and extensive adaptability. Proteins encoded by MADS-box family genes are important transcription factors participated in regulating plant growth, seed development and responses to abiotic stress. However, there has been no in-depth research on the MADS-box genes and their roles in physic nut. RESULTS:In our study, 63 MADS-box genes (JcMADSs) were identified in the physic nut genome, and classed into five groups (MIKCC, M?, M?, M?, MIKC*) according to phylogenetic comparison with Arabidopsis homologs. Expression profile analysis based on RNA-seq suggested that many JcMADS genes had the strongest expression in seeds, and seven of them responded in leaves to at least one abiotic stressor (drought and/or salinity) at one or more time points. Transient expression analysis and a transactivation assay indicated that JcMADS40 is a nucleus-localized transcriptional activator. Plants overexpressing JcMADS40 did not show altered plant growth, but the overexpressing plants did exhibit reductions in grain size, grain length, grain width, 1000-seed weight and yield per plant. Further data on the reduced grain size in JcMADS40-overexpressing plants supported the putative role of JcMADS genes in seed development. CONCLUSIONS:This study will be useful in order to further understand the process of MADS-box genes involved in regulating growth and development in addition to their functions in abiotic stress resistance, and will eventually provide a theoretical basis for the functional investigation and the exploitation of candidate genes for the molecular improvement of physic nut.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-ZIP) transcription factors play important roles in the growth, development and stress responses of plants, including (presumably) physic nut (Jatropha curcas), which has high drought and salinity tolerance. However, although physic nut's genome has been released, there is little knowledge of the functions, expression profiles and evolutionary histories of the species' HD-ZIP genes. RESULTS:In this study, 32 HD-ZIP genes were identified in the physic nut genome (JcHDZs) and divided into four groups (I-IV) based on phylogenetic analysis with homologs from rice, maize and Arabidopsis. The analysis also showed that most of the JcHDZ genes were closer to members from Arabidopsis than to members from rice and maize. Of the 32 JcHDZ genes, most showed differential expression patterns among four tissues (root, stem cortex, leaf, and seed). Expression profile analysis based on RNA-seq data indicated that 15 of the JcHDZ genes respond to at least one abiotic stressor (drought and/or salinity) in leaves at least at one time point. Transient expression of a JcHDZ16-YFP fusion protein in Arabidopsis protoplasts cells showed that JcHDZ16 is localized in the nucleus. In addition, rice seedlings transgenically expressing JcHDZ16 had lower proline contents and activities of antioxidant enzymes (catalase and superoxide dismutase) together with higher relative electrolyte leakage and malondialdehyde contents under salt stress conditions (indicating higher sensitivity) than wild-type plants. The transgenic seedlings also showed increased sensitivity to exogenous ABA, and increases in the transcriptional abundance of several salt stress-responsive genes were impaired in their responses to salt stress. Further data on JcHDZ16-overexpressing plants subjected to salt stress treatment verified the putative role of JcHDZ genes in salt stress responses. CONCLUSION:Our results may provide foundations for further investigation of functions of JcHDZ genes in responses to abiotic stress, and promote application of JcHDZ genes in physic nut breeding.
Project description:The AP2/ERF transcription factor family is one of the largest families involved in growth and development, hormone responses, and biotic or abiotic stress responses in plants. In this study, 281 AP2/ERF transcription factor unigenes were identified in Chinese cabbage. These superfamily members were classified into three families (AP2, ERF, and RAV). The ERF family was subdivided into the DREB subfamily and the ERF subfamily with 13 groups (I- XI) based on sequence similarity. Duplication, evolution and divergence of the AP2/ERF genes in B. rapa and Arabidopsis thaliana were investigated and estimated. Cytokinin response factors (CRFs), as a subclade of the AP2/ERF family, are important transcription factors that define a branch point in the cytokinin two-component signal (TCS) transduction pathway. Up to 21 CRFs with a conserved CRF domain were retrieved and designated as BrCRFs. The amino acid sequences, conserved regions and motifs, phylogenetic relationships, and promoter regions of the 21 BrCRFs were analyzed in detail. The BrCRFs broadly expressed in various tissues and organs. The transcripts of BrCRFs were regulated by factors such as drought, high salinity, and exogenous 6-BA, NAA, and ABA, suggesting their involvement in abiotic stress conditions and regulatory mechanisms of plant hormone homeostasis. These results provide new insight into the divergence, variation, and evolution of AP2/ERF genes at the genome-level in Chinese cabbage.