JOURNAL ARTICLE

Genome-wide identification and phylogenetic analysis of the ERF gene family in cucumbers

Lifang Hu, Shiqiang Liu
Genetics and Molecular Biology 2011, 34 (4): 624-33
22215967
Members of the ERF transcription-factor family participate in a number of biological processes, viz., responses to hormones, adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress, metabolism regulation, beneficial symbiotic interactions, cell differentiation and developmental processes. So far, no tissue-expression profile of any cucumber ERF protein has been reported in detail. Recent completion of the cucumber full-genome sequence has come to facilitate, not only genome-wide analysis of ERF family members in cucumbers themselves, but also a comparative analysis with those in Arabidopsis and rice. In this study, 103 hypothetical ERF family genes in the cucumber genome were identified, phylogenetic analysis indicating their classification into 10 groups, designated I to X. Motif analysis further indicated that most of the conserved motifs outside the AP2/ERF domain, are selectively distributed among the specific clades in the phylogenetic tree. From chromosomal localization and genome distribution analysis, it appears that tandem-duplication may have contributed to CsERF gene expansion. Intron/exon structure analysis indicated that a few CsERFs still conserved the former intron-position patterns existent in the common ancestor of monocots and eudicots. Expression analysis revealed the widespread distribution of the cucumber ERF gene family within plant tissues, thereby implying the probability of their performing various roles therein. Furthermore, members of some groups presented mutually similar expression patterns that might be related to their phylogenetic groups.

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