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Molecular Genetics and Genomics

, Volume 281, Issue 6, pp 647–664 | Cite as

Molecular characterization of stress-inducible GmNAC genes in soybean

  • Lam-Son Phan TranEmail author
  • Truyen N. Quach
  • Satish K. Guttikonda
  • Donavan L. Aldrich
  • Rajesh Kumar
  • Anjanasree Neelakandan
  • Babu Valliyodan
  • Henry T. NguyenEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Drought is detrimental to plant growth and development, and often results in significant losses to the yields of economically important crops such as soybeans (Glycine max L.). NAC transcription factors (TFs), which consist of a large family of plant-specific TFs, have been reported to enhance drought tolerance in a number of plants. In this study, 31 unigenes that contain the complete open reading frames encoding GmNAC proteins were identified and cloned from soybean. Analysis of C-terminal regulatory domain using yeast one-hybrid system indicated that among 31 GmNAC proteins, 28 have transcriptional activation activity. Expression analysis of these GmNAC genes showed that they are differentially expressed in different organs, suggesting that they have diverse functions during plant growth and development. To search for the drought-inducible GmNAC genes, we prescreened and re-confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR analysis that nine GmNAC genes are induced by dehydration stress with differential induction levels in both shoot and root. The expression profiles of these nine GmNAC genes were also examined under other stresses such as high salinity, cold and with abscisic acid hormone treatments. Phylogenetic analysis of the GmNAC proteins with previously reported drought-inducible NAC proteins of Arabidopsis and rice revealed that the nine drought-inducible GmNAC proteins belong to the “stress-inducible” NAC group. The results of this systematic analysis of the GmNAC family will provide novel tools and resources for the development of improved drought tolerant transgenic soybean cultivars.

Keywords

Soybean Abiotic stress Transcription factors Transcriptional activity Expression 

Abbreviations

ABA

Abscisic acid

NAC

NAM, ATAF and CUC transcription factors

ORF

Open reading frame

TF

Transcription factor

Notes

Acknowledgment

Funding supports from Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) to the soybean genomics drought research program at the University of Missouri are gratefully appreciated.

Supplementary material

438_2009_436_MOESM1_ESM.eps (4.6 mb)
Comparison of the Amino Acid Sequences of 31 GmNAC proteins. Conserved amino acids are indicated by white letters on a black background. The consensus NAC subdomains (A thru E) are indicated by underlines (EPS 4.60 mb)
438_2009_436_MOESM2_ESM.eps (4.2 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 1 continued (EPS 4.21 mb)
438_2009_436_MOESM3_ESM.eps (2 mb)
The evolutionary relationship of the 31 GmNAC proteins. The conserved N-terminal DNA binding NAC domains were used to construct the unrooted phylogenetic tree. The bar indicates the relative divergence of the sequences examined. Bootstrap values higher than 50% are displayed next to the branch nodes (EPS 2.00 mb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lam-Son Phan Tran
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Truyen N. Quach
    • 1
  • Satish K. Guttikonda
    • 1
  • Donavan L. Aldrich
    • 1
  • Rajesh Kumar
    • 1
  • Anjanasree Neelakandan
    • 1
  • Babu Valliyodan
    • 1
  • Henry T. Nguyen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Plant Sciences, National Center for Soybean BiotechnologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Gene Discovery Research Group, Signaling Pathway Research UnitRIKEN Plant Science CenterYokohamaJapan

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