Comparative study of the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) gene superfamily in the glycophyte Arabidopsis thaliana and Eutrema halophytes

Quancan Hou, Dorothea Bartels
Annals of Botany 2015, 115 (3): 465-79

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Stresses such as drought or salinity induce the generation of reactive oxygen species, which subsequently cause excessive accumulation of aldehydes in plant cells. Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) are considered as 'aldehyde scavengers' to eliminate toxic aldehydes caused by oxidative stress. The completion of the genome sequencing projects of the halophytes Eutrema parvulum and E. salsugineum has paved the way to explore the relationships and the roles of ALDH genes in the glycophyte Arabidopsis thaliana and halophyte model plants.

METHODS: Protein sequences of all plant ALDH families were used as queries to search E. parvulum and E. salsugineum genome databases. Evolutionary analyses compared the phylogenetic relationships of ALDHs from A. thaliana and Eutrema. Expression patterns of several stress-associated ALDH genes were investigated under different salt conditions using reverse transcription-PCR. Putative cis-elements in the promoters of ALDH10A8 from A. thaliana and E. salsugineum were compared in silico.

KEY RESULTS: Sixteen and 17 members of ten ALDH families were identified from E. parvulum and E. salsugineum genomes, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of ALDH protein sequences indicated that Eutrema ALDHs are closely related to those of Arabidopsis, and members within these species possess nearly identical exon-intron structures. Gene expression analysis under different salt conditions showed that most of the ALDH genes have similar expression profiles in Arabidopsis and E. salsugineum, except for ALDH7B4 and ALDH10A8. In silico analysis of promoter regions of ALDH10A8 revealed different distributions of cis-elements in E. salsugineum and Arabidopsis.

CONCLUSIONS: Genomic organization, copy number, sub-cellular localization and expression profiles of ALDH genes are conserved in Arabidopsis, E. parvulum and E. salsugineum. The different expression patterns of ALDH7B4 and ALDH10A8 in Arabidopsis and E. salsugineum suggest that E. salsugineum uses modified regulatory pathways, which may contribute to salinity tolerance.

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