Genome-wide identification of BURP domain-containing genes in rice reveals a gene family with diverse structures and responses to abiotic stresses

Xipeng Ding, Xin Hou, Kabin Xie, Lizhong Xiong
Planta 2009, 230 (1): 149-63
Increasing evidence suggests that a gene family encoding proteins containing BURP domains have diverse functions in plants, but systematic characterization of this gene family have not been reported. In this study, 17 BURP family genes (OsBURP01-17) were identified and analyzed in rice (Oryza sativa L.). These genes have diverse exon-intron structures and distinct organization of putative motifs. Based on the phylogenetic analysis of BURP protein sequences from rice and other plant species, the BURP family was classified into seven subfamilies, including two subfamilies (BURP V and BURP VI) with members from rice only and one subfamily (BURP VII) with members from monocotyledons only. Two BURP gene clusters, belonging to BURP V and BURP VI, were located in the duplicated region on chromosome 5 and 6 of rice, respectively. Transcript level analysis of BURP genes of rice in various tissues and organs revealed different tempo-spatial expression patterns, suggesting that these genes may function at different stages of plant growth and development. Interestingly, all the genes of the BURP VII subfamily were predominantly expressed in flower organs. We also investigated the expression patterns of BURP genes of rice under different stress conditions. The results suggested that, except for two genes (OsBURP01 and OsBURP13), all other members were induced by at least one of the stresses including drought, salt, cold, and abscisic acid treatment. Two genes (OsBURP05 and OsBURP16) were responsive to all the stress treatments and most of the OsBURP genes were responsive to salt stress. Promoter sequence analysis revealed an over-abundance of stress-related cis-elements in the stress-responsive genes. The data presented here provide important clues for elucidating the functions of genes of this family.

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