Characterization and expression profile analysis of YABBY family genes in Pak-choi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis) under abiotic stresses and hormone treatments

  • Hualan Hou
  • Peng Wu
  • Liwei Gao
  • Changwei Zhang
  • Xilin HouEmail author
Original Paper


YABBY proteins are widely distributed among different plant species and exhibit a higher degree of prevalence in angiosperms than in gymnosperms; abaxial cell fate in the lateral organs of plants is mainly determined by the functions of YABBY genes. However, to date, no scientific study has been conducted on the functions and responses of these genes under different forms of abiotic stresses in Pak-choi (Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis). In this study, we cloned and identified 12 YABBY family genes from Pak-choi. The evolutionary history of the YABBY genes was studied in nine species and showed that YABBY gene loss occurred during specific periods or in certain species during evolution. The putative YABBY family genes of Pak-choi were comprehensively analyzed by comparison with the corresponding orthologs in Arabidopsis and Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa ssp. pekinensis) and classified into five subfamilies based on the specific protein domains and phylogenetic clades. A subcellular localization assay involving BcYABBY1b and BcYABBY2c confirmed that the BcYABBY proteins were localized in the nucleus. qRT-PCR data revealed that the BcYABBY genes are specifically expressed in distinct organs and developmental stages. Furthermore, the expression profiles of the BcYABBY genes were investigated under different hormone treatments and abiotic stress factors. In this study, we comprehensively identified and analyzed the YABBY gene family in the Pak-choi genome. Our data provide possible functional information regarding the involvement of BcYABBY genes in plant growth and development and in the response to abiotic stress and hormone treatments.


YABBY Pak-choi Subcellular localization Abiotic stress Hormone Expression profile 



This work was supported by The National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFD0101701) and the Science and Technology Pillar Program of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. BE2013429).

Author contributions

H-LH and X-LH conceived the project. H-LH and PW retrieved the datasets from the databases and analyzed the data. H-LH carried out the gene cloning and qRT-PCR experiments. C-WZ provided advice on the manuscript. PW, L-WG and C-WZ revised and proofread the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

10725_2019_475_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (254 kb)
Supplementary Figure S1 Distribution ofBrYABBYgenes on 6 chromosomes. The 24 ancestral blocks and three subgenomes of Chinese cabbage were plotted, based on the Chinese cabbage genome sequencing analysis result and the size of each chromosome can be estimated by the scale on the left of the figure. The different colored bars represent different subgenomes (LF, MF1, and MF2) (JPG 254 KB)
10725_2019_475_MOESM2_ESM.jpg (830 kb)
Supplementary Figure S2 YABBY homologous genes in segmental syntenic regions of the genomes ofBrassica rapaandArabidopsis thaliana. The ten B. rapa chromosomes and the five A. thaliana chromosomes are shown on horizontal axis and vertical axis, respectively. Green dots indicate YABBY homologs in the two species (JPG 830 KB)
10725_2019_475_MOESM3_ESM.jpg (2.2 mb)
Supplementary Figure S3 Different motif LOGOs are indicated by different colors from 1 to 10 (JPG 2230 KB)
10725_2019_475_MOESM4_ESM.xls (22 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 Primers used for RT-PCR and qRT-PCR (XLS 22 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hualan Hou
    • 1
  • Peng Wu
    • 1
  • Liwei Gao
    • 1
  • Changwei Zhang
    • 1
  • Xilin Hou
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Germplasm Enhancement/Key Laboratory of Biology and Germplasm Enhancement of Horticultural Crops in East China, Ministry of Agriculture/Engineering Research Center of Germplasm Enhancement and Utilization of Horticultural Crops, Ministry of EducationNanjing Agricultural UniversityNanjingChina

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