Systematic analysis and identification of stress-responsive genes of the NAC gene family in Brachypodium distachyon

Jun You, Lihua Zhang, Bo Song, Xiaoquan Qi, Zhulong Chan
PloS One 2015, 10 (3): e0122027
Plant-specific NAC proteins are one of the largest families of transcription factors in plants, and members of this family have been characterized with roles in the regulation of diverse biological processes, including development and stress responses. In the present study, we identified 101 putative NAC domain-encoding genes (BdNACs) through systematic sequence analysis in Brachypodium distachyon, a new model plant of family Poaceae. BdNAC proteins were phylogenetically clustered into 13 groups, and each group possesses similar motif compositions. Phylogenetic analysis using known stress-related NACs from Arabidopsis and rice as query sequences identified 18 BdNACs as putative stress-responsive genes. In silico promoter analysis showed that almost all BdNAC genes contain putative stress-related cis-elements in their promoter regions. Expression profile of BdNAC genes in response to abiotic stresses and phytohormones was analyzed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Several putative stress-responsive BdNAC genes, including BdNAC003 and BdNAC044 which is ortholog of known stress-responsive rice gene SNAC1 and SNAC2, respectively, were highly regulated by multiple abiotic stresses and stress-related phytohormone treatments. Taken together, our results presented here would be helpful in laying the foundation for understanding of the complex mechanisms of NAC mediated abiotic stress signaling transduction pathways in B. distachyon.

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