Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 70, Issue 3, pp 341–357 | Cite as

Comprehensive sequence and expression profile analysis of Hsp20 gene family in rice

  • Yidan Ouyang
  • Jiongjiong Chen
  • Weibo Xie
  • Lei Wang
  • Qifa Zhang


The Hsp20 genes represent the most abundant small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) in plants. Hsp20 gene family has been shown to be involved in preventing heat shock and promoting resistance to environmental stress factors, but very little is known about this gene family in rice. Here, we report the identification and characterization of 39 OsHsp20 genes in rice, describing the gene structure, gene expression, genome localization, and phylogenetic relationship of each member. We have used RT-PCR to perform a characterization of the normal and heat shock-induced expression of selective OsHsp20 genes. A genome-wide microarray based gene expression analysis involving 25 stages of vegetative and reproductive development in three rice cultivars has revealed that 36 OsHsp20 genes were expressed in at least one of the experimental stages studied. Among these, transcripts of OsHsp20 were accumulated differentially during vegetative and reproductive developmental stages and preferentially down-regulated in Shanyou 63. In addition, OsHsp20 genes were identified as showing prominent heterosis in family-level expression. Our results suggest that the expression patterns of the OsHsp20 genes are diversified not only in developmental stages but also in variety level.


Oryza sativa Heat shock Expression profiles Microarray Hsp20 gene family 



Heat shock protein


Small HSP


α-Crystallin domain


Oryza sativa


Arabidopsis thaliana


Endoplasmic reticulum


Heat shock response element


Heat shock factor


Base pair


Amino acids



We thank two anonymous reviewers for their careful reading and helpful comments on this manuscript. This research was supported in part by grants from the National Special Key Project of China on Functional Genomics of Major Plants and Animals, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yidan Ouyang
    • 1
  • Jiongjiong Chen
    • 1
  • Weibo Xie
    • 1
  • Lei Wang
    • 1
  • Qifa Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, National Centre of Plant Gene ResearchHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina

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