Transcriptome-based discovery of AP2/ERF transcription factors related to temperature stress in tea plant (Camellia sinensis)

Zhi-Jun Wu, Xing-Hui Li, Zhi-Wei Liu, Hui Li, Yong-Xin Wang, Jing Zhuang
Functional & Integrative Genomics 2015, 15 (6): 741-52
Tea plant (Camellia sinensis) is an important natural resource for the global supply of non-alcoholic beverage production. The extension of tea plant cultivation is challenged by biotic and abiotic stresses. Transcription factors (TFs) of the APETALA 2 (AP2)/ethylene-responsive factor (ERF) family are involved in growth and anti-stresses through multifaceted transcriptional regulation in plants. This study comprehensively analyzed AP2/ERF family TFs from C. sinensis on the basis of the transcriptome sequencing data of four tea plant cultivars, namely, 'Yunnanshilixiang', 'Chawansanhao', 'Ruchengmaoyecha', and 'Anjibaicha'. A total of 89 putative AP2/ERF transcription factors with full-length AP2 domain were identified from C. sinensis and classified into five subfamilies, namely, AP2, dehydration-responsive-element-binding (DREB), ERF, related to ABI3/VP (RAV), and Soloist. All identified CsAP2/ERF genes presented relatively stable expression levels in the four tea plant cultivars. Many groups also showed cultivar specificity. Five CsAP2/ERF genes from each AP2/ERF subfamily (DREB, ERF, AP2, and RAV) were related to temperature stresses; these results indicated that AP2/ERF TFs may play important roles in abnormal temperature stress response in C. sinensis.

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