The phytocyanin gene family in rice (Oryza sativa L.): genome-wide identification, classification and transcriptional analysis

Haoli Ma, Heming Zhao, Zhi Liu, Jie Zhao
PloS One 2011, 6 (10): e25184

BACKGROUND: Phytocyanins (PCs) are plant-specific blue copper proteins involved in electron transport, and a large number of known PCs are considered to be chimeric arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs). To date there has not been a genome-wide overview of the OsPC gene family. Therefore, as the first step and a useful strategy to elucidate the functions of OsPCs, there is an urgent need for a thorough genome-wide analysis of this gene family.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, a total of 62 OsPC genes were identified through a comprehensive bioinformatics analysis of the rice (Oryza sativa L.) genome. Based on phylogeny and motif constitution, the family of OsPCs was classified into three subclasses: uclacyanin-like proteins (OsUCLs), stellacyanin-like proteins (OsSCLs) and early nodulin-like proteins (OsENODLs). Structure and glycosylation prediction indicated that 46 OsPCs were glycosylphosphatigylinositol-anchored proteins and 38 OsPCs were chimeric AGPs. Gene duplication analysis revealed that chromosomal segment and tandem duplications contributed almost equally to the expansion of this gene family, and duplication events were mostly happened in the OsUCL subfamily. The expression profiles of OsPC genes were analyzed at different stages of vegetative and reproductive development and under abiotic stresses. It revealed that a large number of OsPC genes were abundantly expressed in the various stages of development. Moreover, 17 genes were regulated under the treatments of abiotic stresses.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The genome-wide identification and expression analysis of OsPC genes should facilitate research in this gene family and give new insights toward elucidating their functions in higher plants.

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