Comprehensive genomic analysis and expression profiling of phospholipase C gene family during abiotic stresses and development in rice

Amarjeet Singh, Poonam Kanwar, Amita Pandey, Akhilesh K Tyagi, Sudhir K Sopory, Sanjay Kapoor, Girdhar K Pandey
PloS One 2013, 8 (4): e62494

BACKGROUND: Phospholipase C (PLC) is one of the major lipid hydrolysing enzymes, implicated in lipid mediated signaling. PLCs have been found to play a significant role in abiotic stress triggered signaling and developmental processes in various plant species. Genome wide identification and expression analysis have been carried out for this gene family in Arabidopsis, yet not much has been accomplished in crop plant rice.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: An exhaustive in-silico exploration of rice genome using various online databases and tools resulted in the identification of nine PLC encoding genes. Based on sequence, motif and phylogenetic analysis rice PLC gene family could be divided into phosphatidylinositol-specific PLCs (PI-PLCs) and phosphatidylcholine- PLCs (PC-PLC or NPC) classes with four and five members, respectively. A comparative analysis revealed that PLCs are conserved in Arabidopsis (dicots) and rice (monocot) at gene structure and protein level but they might have evolved through a separate evolutionary path. Transcript profiling using gene chip microarray and quantitative RT-PCR showed that most of the PLC members expressed significantly and differentially under abiotic stresses (salt, cold and drought) and during various developmental stages with condition/stage specific and overlapping expression. This finding suggested an important role of different rice PLC members in abiotic stress triggered signaling and plant development, which was also supported by the presence of relevant cis-regulatory elements in their promoters. Sub-cellular localization of few selected PLC members in Nicotiana benthamiana and onion epidermal cells has provided a clue about their site of action and functional behaviour.

CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The genome wide identification, structural and expression analysis and knowledge of sub-cellular localization of PLC gene family envisage the functional characterization of these genes in crop plants in near future.

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