We investigated 151 non-redundant NAC genes in rice and 117 in Arabidopsis. A complete overview of this gene family in rice is presented, including gene structures, phylogenies, genome localizations, and expression profiles. We also performed a comparative analysis of these genes in rice and Arabidopsis. Conserved amino acid residues and phylogeny construction using the NAC conserved domain sequence suggest that OsNAC gene family was classified broadly into two major groups (A and B) and sixteen subgroups in rice. We presented more specific phylogenetic analysis of OsNAC proteins based on the DNA-binding domain and known gene function, respectively. Loss of introns was observed in the segmental duplication. Homologous, paralogous, and orthologous searches of rice and Arabidopsis revealed that the major functional diversification within the NAC gene family predated the divergence of monocots and dicots. The chromosomal localizations of OsNAC genes indicated nine segmental duplication events involving 18 genes; 32 non-redundant OsNAC genes were involved in tandem duplications. Expression levels of this gene family were checked under various abiotic stresses (cold, drought, submergence, laid-down submergence, osmotic, salinity and hormone) and biotic stresses (infection with rice viruses such as RSV (rice stripe virus) and RTSV (rice tungro spherical virus)). Biotic stresses are novel work and increase the possibilities for finding the best candidate genes. A preliminary search based on our microarray (22K and 44K) data suggested that more than 45 and 26 non-redundant genes in this family were upregulated in response to abiotic and biotic stresses, respectively. All of the genes were further investigated for their stress responsiveness by RT-PCR analysis. Six genes showed preferential expression under both biotic RSV and RTSV stress. Eleven genes were upregulated by at least three abiotic treatments. Our study provides a very useful reference for cloning and functional analysis of members of this gene family in rice.
Gene – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2010
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