Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 247–257 | Cite as

Phylogenetic and functional analysis of the basic transcription factor gene BTF3 from Jatropha curcas

  • Xianjun Peng
  • Qi Wang
  • Hui Liu
  • Shihua ShenEmail author
Original paper


The potential biofuel crop Jatropha curcas has very low tolerance to low temperatures, which is the bottleneck for its cultivation and commercialization. BTF3 (Basic transcription factor 3) function as a key regulator of plant growth and development as well as in the tolerance to biotic and abiotic stress. JcBTF3 was isolated from J. curcas by screening the cold stress responsive yeast hybrid library, which has five introns and six exons that contain a single ORF of 501 bp, encoding a protein of 166 amino acids. In addition to its NAC domain, phylogenetic analysis suggests that the entire sequence of the JcBTF3 protein and the gene structure are highly conserved in the plant kingdom. One hour of cold exposure caused a significant up-regulation of JcBTF3, while abscisic acid, methyl jasmonate, salt and drought stresses slightly induced its expression. Assessing expression in different tissues showed that JcBTF3 is expressed ubiquitously, with lower levels in the stem. Further experiments demonstrated that JcBTF3 is distributed throughout the cytoplasm and in the nucleus. Overexpression of JcBTF3 increased the tolerance to cold stresses in transgenic Arabidopsis. These results suggest that the conserved BTF3 gene structure could be an important hint for the functional identification of orthologous genes in additional plant species and that JcBTF3 might be used to improve the cold stress resistance of J. curcas.


Abiotic stress BTF Cold stress Phylogenetic Transcriptional factor 



Thanks Dr. Brenna from Baylor College of Medicine for her kindly help of the English proofing.

Authors contributions

PXJ performed the genome wide analysis of BTFs and wrote this manuscript. WQ performed the plasmid construction and the yeast one hybrid. LH carried out the subcellular localization and qPCR experiments. SSH was responsible for the overall concept and experimental designs, data integration, analysis and interpretation, and manuscript preparation. All authors approved the final manuscript.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31270653).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that there is no competing interest in this study.

Supplementary material

10725_2017_255_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (10 kb)
All of the primers used in this study (XLSX 10 KB)
10725_2017_255_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (50 kb)
The gene ID, sequence, intron and exon information of the 23 BTF3 genes (XLSX 50 KB)
10725_2017_255_MOESM3_ESM.tif (732 kb)
The predicted three dimensional structure of JcBTF3. Arrow: β-strand; Helix: α-helix; Single line: Turn (TIF 731 KB)
10725_2017_255_MOESM4_ESM.tif (1.7 mb)
Sequence logos of BTF3 protein. Number on the X-axis represent the sequence positions in the BTF3 protein. The Y-axis represent the information content measured in bits (TIF 1728 KB)
10725_2017_255_MOESM5_ESM.jpg (180 kb)
The western blot results of the GFP-fusion protein (JPG 180 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Plant Resources, Institute of BotanyThe Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Zheng Zhou Fruit Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agriculture SciencesZheng ZhouChina

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