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Genome-wide identification of WRKY family genes in peach and analysis of WRKY expression during bud dormancy

Chen, Min, Tan, Qiuping, Sun, Mingyue, Li, Dongmei, Fu, Xiling, Chen, Xiude, Xiao, Wei, Li, Ling, Gao, Dongsheng
Molecular genetics and genomics 2016 v.291 no.3 pp. 1319-1332
Arabidopsis, bioinformatics, buds, chromosomes, climate, cluster analysis, cold, dormancy, fruit trees, gene expression, genes, genetic engineering, nucleotide sequences, peaches, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, rice
Bud dormancy in deciduous fruit trees is an important adaptive mechanism for their survival in cold climates. The WRKY genes participate in several developmental and physiological processes, including dormancy. However, the dormancy mechanisms of WRKY genes have not been studied in detail. We conducted a genome-wide analysis and identified 58 WRKY genes in peach. These putative genes were located on all eight chromosomes. In bioinformatics analyses, we compared the sequences of WRKY genes from peach, rice, and Arabidopsis. In a cluster analysis, the gene sequences formed three groups, of which group II was further divided into five subgroups. Gene structure was highly conserved within each group, especially in groups IId and III. Gene expression analyses by qRT-PCR showed that WRKY genes showed different expression patterns in peach buds during dormancy. The mean expression levels of six WRKY genes (Prupe.6G286000, Prupe.1G393000, Prupe.1G114800, Prupe.1G071400, Prupe.2G185100, and Prupe.2G307400) increased during endodormancy and decreased during ecodormancy, indicating that these six WRKY genes may play a role in dormancy in a perennial fruit tree. This information will be useful for selecting fruit trees with desirable dormancy characteristics or for manipulating dormancy in genetic engineering programs.