Gene structure, expression pattern and interaction of Nuclear Factor-Y family in castor bean (Ricinus communis)
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Nuclear Factor-Y transcription factors, which function in regulating seed development (including storage reservoir accumulation) and responding to abiotic stresses, were identified and characterized in castor bean.
Nuclear Factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors in plants contain three subunits (NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC), and function as a heterodimer or heterotrimer complex in regulating plant growth, development and response to stresses. Castor bean (Ricinus communis, Euphorbiaceae) one of the most economically important non-edible oilseed crops, able to grow in diverse soil conditions and displays high tolerance to abiotic stresses. Due to increasing demands for its seed oils, it is necessary to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of growth and development. Based on the available genome data, we identified 25 RcNF-Y members including six RcNF-YAs, 12 RcNF-YBs and seven RcNF-YCs, and characterized their gene structures. Yeast two-hybrid assays confirmed the protein–protein interactions among three subunits. Using transcriptomic data from different tissues, we found that six members were highly or specifically expressed in endosperms (in particular, two LEC1-type members RcNF-YB2 and RcNF-YB12), implying their involvement in regulating seed development and storage reservoir accumulation. Further, we investigated the expression changes of RcNF-Y members in two-week-old seedlings under drought, cold, hot and salt stresses. We found that the expression levels of 20 RcNF-Y members tested were changed and three RcNF-Y members might function in response to abiotic stresses. This study is the first reported on genomic characterization of NF-Y transcription factors in the family Euphorbiaceae. Our results provide the basis for improved understanding of how NF-Y genes function in the regulation of seed development and responses to abiotic stresses in both castor bean and other plants in this family.
KeywordsAbiotic stress Castor bean Expression profiles NF-Y transcription factor Protein interaction
Leafy Cotyledon 1
Yeast two hybrid
This work was supported by Chinese National Key Technology R & D Program (2015BAD15B02), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31661143002, 31501034 and 31401421) and Yunnan Applied Basic Research Projects (2016FB060, 2016FA011).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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