Genome-wide exploration of C2H2 zinc finger family in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. Durum): insights into the roles in biological processes especially stress response
C2H2 type of zinc finger transcription factors (C2H2-ZFP TFs) play crucial roles in plant developments and stress response. Regarding its importance, genome-wide study of C2H2-ZFs were performed in multiple important plant species, but any such investigation was not fulfilled in Triticum turgidum ssp. Durum (durum wheat) as an important nutritional crop. The present study identified 122 C2H2-ZFs in durum wheat and physically mapped them onto the genome. The phylogenetic analysis classified these TFs into six major groups. Genes structure and conserved motifs assay showed TtC2H2-ZF involvement in the important cellular functions. Comparative phylogeny between durum wheat TtC2H2-ZF genes and the orthologs in rice revealed the evolutionary relationships of C2H2-ZF proteins. The gene ontology and promoter cis-element analysis indicated that most of TtC2H2-ZF genes are involved in multiple molecular functions including metal ion-binding and various stimuli responses. Further, the miRNAs targeting TtC2H2-ZF transcripts, homology modeling and proteins interaction network were also demonstrated, suggesting the vital cellular functions of TtC2H2-ZFs during various circumstances. The expression heatmap demonstrated differential and tissue-specific expression patterns of these genes. Expression profiling of this gene family members in response to dehydration and heat stresses showed differential expression pattern of these genes at multiple time points of stresses. This study can prepare a comprehensive overview of the durum wheat C2H2-ZF gene family and may provide a new perspective on the evolution of them, which will form the basis for further investigation of the roles of this family members and future genetic engineering studies in crops.
KeywordsC2H2 zinc finger family Metal ion-binding Stimuli response Systematic evaluation Triticum turgidum ssp. Durum
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