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Evolution of PEPC gene family in Gossypium reveals functional diversification and GhPEPC genes responding to abiotic stresses

Zhao, Yanpeng, Guo, Anhui, Wang, Yumei, Hua, Jinping
Gene 2019 v.698 pp. 61-71
Gossypium arboreum, Gossypium barbadense, Gossypium hirsutum, Gossypium raimondii, cold, cold stress, cotton, cottonseed, evolution, gene expression, genes, heat, heat stress, microRNA, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase, plant growth, salt stress, stress response
Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) family genes play important roles in regulating plant growth and abiotic stress response. Based on the sequenced Gossypium genomes, we performed comprehensive analysis of PEPC homolog genes in cotton, which six, six, eleven and ten PEPC genes were identified in Gossypium arboreum (A2), G. raimondii (D5), G. hirsutum (AD1) and G. barbadense (AD2), respectively. These genes were divided into six subgroups: PEPC-i, PEPC-ii, PEPC-iii, PEPC-iv, PEPC-v and PEPC-vi; PEPC genes in each subgroup displayed conserved gene structure and motifs. Segmental duplication and whole genome duplication (WGD) events yielded the expansion of PEPC genes. Expression assays showed that the duplicated PEPC genes displayed diverse expression patterns, indicating that they experienced functional divergence. Of which, genes in PEPC-iv subgroup played crucial role for substrate distribution in cottonseed. Cis-elements, putative miRNAs and expression analyses showed that GhPEPC homologs might respond to abiotic stresses, expression levels of GhPEPC1 and GhPEPC2/GhPEPC2D genes were larger induced than other GhPEPC genes under cold, heat, salt, and drought stresses, indicating the crucial roles in abiotic stresses response. Present study serves new information to decipher the evolution and function of PEPC genes in Gossypium.