Genome-wide analysis of AP2/ERF transcription factors in carrot (Daucus carota L.) reveals evolution and expression profiles under abiotic stress

Meng-Yao Li, Zhi-Sheng Xu, Ying Huang, Chang Tian, Feng Wang, Ai-Sheng Xiong
Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG 2015, 290 (6): 2049-61
AP2/ERF is a large transcription factor family that regulates plant physiological processes, such as plant development and stress response. Carrot (Daucus carota L.) is an important economical crop with a genome size of 480 Mb; the draft genome sequencing of this crop has been completed by our group. However, little is known about the AP2/ERF factors in carrot. In this study, a total of 267 putative AP2/ERF factors were identified from the whole-genome sequence of carrot. These AP2/ERF proteins were phylogenetically clustered into five subfamilies based on their similarity to the amino acid sequences from Arabidopsis. The distribution and comparative genome analysis of the AP2/ERF factors among plants showed the AP2/ERF factors had expansion during the evolutionary process, and the AP2 domain was highly conserved during evolution. The number of AP2/ERF factors in land plants expanded during their evolution. A total of 60 orthologous and 145 coorthologous AP2/ERF gene pairs between carrot and Arabidopsis were identified, and the interaction network of orthologous genes was constructed. The expression patterns of eight AP2/ERF family genes from each subfamily (DREB, ERF, AP2, and RAV) were related to abiotic stresses. Yeast one-hybrid and β-galactosidase activity assays confirmed the DRE and GCC box-binding activities of DREB subfamily genes. This study is the first to identify and characterize the AP2/ERF transcription factors in carrot using whole-genome analysis, and the findings may serve as references for future functional research on the transcription factors in carrot.


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