Q-type C2H2 zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) form a subfamily of transcription factors that contain a plant-specific QALGGH amino acid motif. A total of 47 expressed Q-type C2H2 zinc finger genes in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) (designated TaZFP) were identified from the current databases. Protein sequence analysis for the presence of ERF-associated amphiphilic repressor (EAR) motif sequences from known transcriptional repressors revealed that 26% of the TaZFP subfamily members contain an EAR motif. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis of the mRNA distribution of 44 TaZFP genes in various organs revealed that 30 genes were predominantly expressed in the roots. The majority of the TaZFP genes showed significant changes in their mRNA levels during leaf development and aging. Expression of 37 TaZFP genes in the leaves and roots responded to drought stress at least in one organ with 74% of the drought-responsive TaZFP genes being down-regulated in the drought-stressed roots. In contrast, only 6 out of the 44 TaZFP genes showed expression changes in the leaves with sucrose treatment. Expression of 50% of the drought-responsive TaZFP genes in the leaves (16 genes analysed) did not respond to ABA treatment, indicating that some TaZFP genes are involved in ABA-independent signalling pathways. These results indicate that the Q-type TaZFP subfamily is likely to have an important role in wheat roots and is enriched with members that are potentially involved in regulating cellular activities during changes of the physiological status of plant cells, as it occurs during drought stress or leaf development/aging.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 18, 2008
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