Genome-wide identification, classification and expression analysis of genes encoding putative fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L.)

Li Jun, Wu Xiaoming
Molecular Biology Reports 2012, 39 (12): 10541-55
Fasciclin-like arabinogalactan proteins (FLAs), a subclass of arabinogalactan proteins (AGPs), have both predicted AGP-like glycosylated regions and putative fasciclin (FAS) domains, which may function in cell adhesion and communication. Previous studies have identified 21, 27, and 34 FLAs in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), rice (Oryza sativa), and wheat (Triticum aestivum), respectively. In this study, we identified 33 FLAs in the annotated genome of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis line Chiifu-401-42). Sequence analysis indicated that FAS domains each contain two highly conserved regions, named H1 and H2, and that 17 FLAs from B. rapa (BrFLAs) possess both of these regions. Prediction of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) modification sites suggested that 15 BrFLAs were GPI-anchored to the plasma membrane. Additionally, 25 BrFLAs may have been duplicated during the processes that shaped the triplicated genome of the mesopolyploid B. rapa. Expression analyses indicated that BrFLA1, BrFLA11, BrFLA13, BrFLA28 and BrFLA32 were specifically expressed in inflorescence. Meanwhile, BrFLA9 (homologous to AtFLA12) is specifically expressed in stem, and BrFLA6/22 (homologous to AtFLA11) is also highly expressed in stem, suggesting BrFLA6/9/22 may have the same functions as AtFLA11/12 in A. thaliana. Taken together, the identification and bioinformatic analysis of FLAs in B. rapa will open the way for studying their biological functions in plant growth and development as well as evolutionary history of this gene family from A. thaliana to B. rapa.

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