Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are crucial sensors of calcium concentration changes in plant cells under diverse endogenous and environmental stimuli. We identified 20 CDPK genes from bread wheat and performed a comprehensive study on their structural, functional and evolutionary characteristics. Full-length cDNA sequences of 14 CDPKs were obtained using various approaches. Wheat CDPKs were found to be similar to their counterparts in rice in genomic structure, GC content, subcellular localization, and subgroup classification. Divergence time estimation of wheat CDPK gene pairs and wheat–rice orthologs suggested that most duplicated genes already existed in the common ancestor of wheat and rice. The number of CDPKs in diploid wheat genome was estimated to be at least 26, a number close to that in rice, Arabidopsis, and poplar. However, polymorphism among EST sequences uncovered transcripts of all three homoeologous alleles for 13 out of 20 CDPKs. Thus, the hexaploid wheat should have 2–3 fold more CDPK genes expressing in their cells than the diploid species. Wheat CDPK genes were found to respond to various biotic and abiotic stimuli, including cold, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), salt, drought, powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis tritici, Bgt), as well as phytohormones abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellic acid (GA). Each CDPK gene often responded to multiple treatments, suggesting that wheat CDPKs are converging points for multiple signal transduction pathways. The current work represents the first comprehensive study of CDPK genes in bread wheat and provides a foundation for further functional study of this important gene family in Triticeae.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 9, 2008
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