Plant jasmonate ZIM domain genes: shedding light on structure and expression patterns of JAZ gene family in sugarcane

Feng Liu, Tingting Sun, Ling Wang, Weihua Su, Shiwu Gao, Yachun Su, Liping Xu, Youxiong Que
BMC Genomics 2017 October 11, 18 (1): 771

BACKGROUND: Sugarcane smut caused by Sporisorium scitamineum is one of the most severe fungal diseases in the sugarcane industry. Using a molecular biological technique to mine sugarcane resistance genes can provide gene resources for further genetic engineering of sugarcane disease-resistant breeding. Jasmonate ZIM (zinc-finger inflorescence meristem) domain (JAZ) proteins, which involved in the responses to plant pathogens and abiotic stresses, are important signaling molecules of the jasmonic acid (JA) pathway.

RESULTS: Seven differentially expressed sugarcane JAZ genes, ScJAZ1-ScJAZ7, were mined from the transcriptome of sugarcane after inoculation with S. scitamineum. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that these seven ScJAZ genes encoded basic proteins that contain the TIFY and CCT_2 domains. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis demonstrated that the ScJAZ1-ScJAZ7 genes were tissue specific and differentially expressed under adverse stress. During S. scitamineum infection, the transcripts of ScJAZ4 and ScJAZ5 were both upregulated in the susceptible genotype ROC22 and the resistant genotype Yacheng05-179; ScJAZ1, ScJAZ2, ScJAZ3, and ScJAZ7 were downregulated in Yacheng05-179 and upregulated in ROC22; and the expression of ScJAZ6 did not change in ROC22, but was upregulated in Yacheng05-179. The transcripts of the seven ScJAZ genes were increased by the stimuli of salicylic acid and abscisic acid, particularly methyl jasmonate. The expression of the genes ScJAZ1-ScJAZ7 was immediately upregulated by the stressors hydrogen peroxide, sodium chloride, and copper chloride, whereas slightly induced after treatment with calcium chloride and polyethylene glycol. In addition, the expression of ScJAZ6, as well as seven tobacco immunity-associated marker genes were upregulated, and antimicrobial activity against Pseudomonas solanacearum and Fusarium solani var. coeruleum was observed during the transient overexpression of ScJAZ6 in Nicotiana benthamiana, suggesting that the ScJAZ6 gene is associated with plant immunity.

CONCLUSIONS: The different expression profiles of the ScJAZ1-ScJAZ7 genes during S. scitamineum infection, the positive response of ScJAZ1-ScJAZ7 to hormones and abiotic treatments, and the function analysis of the ScJAZ6 gene revealed their involvement in the defense against biotic and abiotic stresses. The findings of the present study facilitate further research on the ScJAZ gene family especially their regulatory mechanism in sugarcane.

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