Isolation, structural analysis, and expression characteristics of the maize TIFY gene family

Zhongbao Zhang, Xianglong Li, Rong Yu, Meng Han, Zhongyi Wu
Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG 2015, 290 (5): 1849-58
TIFY, previously known as ZIM, comprises a plant-specific family annotated as transcription factors that might play important roles in stress response. Despite TIFY proteins have been reported in Arabidopsis and rice, a comprehensive and systematic survey of ZmTIFY genes has not yet been conducted. To investigate the functions of ZmTIFY genes in this family, we isolated and characterized 30 ZmTIFY (1 TIFY, 3 ZML, and 26 JAZ) genes in an analysis of the maize (Zea mays L.) genome in this study. The 30 ZmTIFY genes were distributed over eight chromosomes. Multiple alignment and motif display results indicated that all ZmTIFY proteins share two conserved TIFY and Jas domains. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the ZmTIFY family could be divided into two groups. Putative cis-elements, involved in abiotic stress response, phytohormones, pollen grain, and seed development, were detected in the promoters of maize TIFY genes. Microarray data showed that the ZmTIFY genes had tissue-specific expression patterns in various maize developmental stages and in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The results indicated that ZmTIFY4, 5, 8, 26, and 28 were induced, while ZmTIFY16, 13, 24, 27, 18, and 30 were suppressed, by drought stress in the maize inbred lines Han21 and Ye478. ZmTIFY1, 19, and 28 were upregulated after infection by three pathogens, whereas ZmTIFY4, 13, 21, 23, 24, and 26 were suppressed. These results indicate that the ZmTIFY family may have vital roles in response to abiotic and biotic stresses. The data presented in this work provide vital clues for further investigating the functions of the genes in the ZmTIFY family.

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