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Genome-wide characterization and analysis of F-box protein-encoding genes in the Malus domestica genome

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Abstract

The F-box protein family is a large family that is characterized by conserved F-box domains of approximately 40–50 amino acids in the N-terminus. F-box proteins participate in diverse cellular processes, such as development of floral organs, signal transduction and response to stress, primarily as a component of the Skp1-cullin-F-box (SCF) complex. In this study, using a global search of the apple genome, 517 F-box protein-encoding genes (F-box genes for short) were identified and further subdivided into 12 groups according to the characterization of known functional domains, which suggests the different potential functions or processes that they were involved in. Among these domains, the galactose oxidase domain was analyzed for the first time in plants, and this domain was present with or without the Kelch domain. The F-box genes were distributed in all 17 apple chromosomes with various densities and tended to form gene clusters. Spatial expression profile analysis revealed that F-box genes have organ-specific expression and are widely expressed in all organs. Proteins that contained the galactose oxidase domain were highly expressed in leaves, flowers and seeds. From a fruit ripening expression profile, 166 F-box genes were identified. The expressions of most of these genes changed little during maturation, but five of them increased significantly. Using qRT-PCR to examine the expression of F-box genes encoding proteins with domains related to stress, the results revealed that F-box proteins were up- or down-regulated, which suggests that F-box genes were involved in abiotic stress. The results of this study helped to elucidate the functions of F-box proteins, especially in Rosaceae plants.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Special Research Fund of Public Welfare of China Agricultural Ministry (201303093).

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Xiao-Yun Wang.

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Communicated by S. Hohmann.

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Cui, HR., Zhang, ZR., lv, W. et al. Genome-wide characterization and analysis of F-box protein-encoding genes in the Malus domestica genome. Mol Genet Genomics 290, 1435–1446 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00438-015-1004-z

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