Genome-wide analysis identifies chickpea (Cicer arietinum) heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) responsive to heat stress at the pod development stage
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The heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) play a prominent role in thermotolerance and eliciting the heat stress response in plants. Identification and expression analysis of Hsfs gene family members in chickpea would provide valuable information on heat stress responsive Hsfs. A genome-wide analysis of Hsfs gene family resulted in the identification of 22 Hsf genes in chickpea in both desi and kabuli genome. Phylogenetic analysis distinctly separated 12 A, 9 B, and 1 C class Hsfs, respectively. An analysis of cis-regulatory elements in the upstream region of the genes identified many stress responsive elements such as heat stress elements (HSE), abscisic acid responsive element (ABRE) etc. In silico expression analysis showed nine and three Hsfs were also expressed in drought and salinity stresses, respectively. Q-PCR expression analysis of Hsfs under heat stress at pod development and at 15 days old seedling stage showed that CarHsfA2, A6, and B2 were significantly upregulated in both the stages of crop growth and other four Hsfs (CarHsfA2, A6a, A6c, B2a) showed early transcriptional upregulation for heat stress at seedling stage of chickpea. These subclasses of Hsfs identified in this study can be further evaluated as candidate genes in the characterization of heat stress response in chickpea.
KeywordsDNA binding domain Phylogeny Duplication of Hsfs Digital expression Pod development stage Heat stress-inducible gene expression Heat stress responsive element (HSE) ABA-responsive elements (ABRE)
The authors thank the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for financial assistance under the functional genomics component of Network Project on Transgenic Crops and the Emeritus Scientist Scheme to RS. PC acknowledges the SRF fellowship provided by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). JPTK and VS acknowledge the SRF fellowship provided by IARI. We also thank Dr. K.V. Prabhu and Dr. Rajinder Singh for providing the facilities to conduct the experiment in the National Phytotron Facility, IARI.
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