Genome-wide analysis and expression patterns of ZF-HD transcription factors under different developmental tissues and abiotic stresses in Chinese cabbage

Wenli Wang, Peng Wu, Ying Li, XiLin Hou
Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG 2016, 291 (3): 1451-64
The ZF-HD gene family plays an important role in plant developmental processes and stress responses. However, the function of the ZF-HD genes in Chinese cabbage remains largely unknown. Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) is a member of one of the most important leaf vegetables grown worldwide. The entire Chinese cabbage genome sequence has been determined, and more than forty thousand proteins have been identified to date. In this study, 31 ZF-HD genes were identified in Chinese cabbage. We show here that the BraZF-HD genes could be categorized into ZHD and MIF subfamilies. Among them, ZHD genes are plant-specific, nearly all intronless, and related to MINI ZINC FINGER genes that possess only the zinc finger. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that ZHDs have expanded considerably during angiosperm evolution. In addition, the ZHD group has 24 members, which is twice as much as the Arabidopsis ZHD group, indicating that the Chinese cabbage ZHD genes have been retained more frequently than other group genes. Real-time PCR analysis showed that most of BraZF-HD genes are preferentially expressed in flower. Furthermore, most of these genes are significantly induced under photoperiod or vernalization conditions, as well as abiotic stresses. Thereby implying that they may play important roles in these processes. This study provides insight into the evolution of ZF-HD genes in Chinese cabbage genome and may aid efforts to further characterize the function of these predicted ZF-HD genes in flowering and resistance.

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