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

Peng, Xianjun, Wang, Qi, Liu, Hui, Shen, Shihua
Plant growth regulation 2017 v.82 no.2 pp. 247-257
Arabidopsis, Jatropha curcas, abscisic acid, amino acids, cold stress, cold tolerance, commercialization, cytoplasm, energy crops, exons, gene overexpression, genes, growth and development, hybrids, introns, methyl jasmonate, open reading frames, phylogeny, screening, stress tolerance, tissues, transcription (genetics), transcription factors, transgenic plants, yeasts
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.