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Comprehensive analyses of ZFP gene family and characterization of expression profiles during plant hormone response in cotton

He, Peng, Yang, Yan, Wang, Zihua, Zhao, Peng, Yuan, Yi, Zhang, Li, Ma, Yueqin, Pang, Chaoyou, Yu, Jianing, Xiao, Guanghui
BMC plant biology 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 329
Gossypium hirsutum, abiotic stress, auxins, bioinformatics, biotic stress, brassinosteroids, breeding, cell growth, chromosomes, fiber cells, genes, gibberellic acid, growth and development, hormones, lint cotton, plant development, promoter regions, proteins, stress response, zinc finger motif
BACKGROUND: Zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) containing only a single zinc finger domain play important roles in the regulation of plant growth and development, as well as in biotic and abiotic stress responses. To date, the evolutionary history and functions of the ZFP gene family have not been identified in cotton. RESULTS: In this paper, we identified 29 ZFP genes in Gossypium hirsutum. This gene family was divided into seven subfamilies, 22 of which were distributed over 17 chromosomes. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that 20 GhZFP genes originated from whole genome duplications and two originated from dispersed duplication events, indicating that whole genome duplication is the main force in the expansion of the GhZFP gene family. Most GhZFP8 subfamily genes, except for GhZFP8–3, were highly expressed during fiber cell growth, and were induced by brassinosteroids in vitro. Furthermore, we found that a large number of GhZFP genes contained gibberellic acid responsive elements, auxin responsive elements, and E-box elements in their promoter regions. Exogenous application of these hormones significantly stimulated the expression of these genes. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal that GhZFP8 genes are involved in cotton fiber development and widely induced by auxin, gibberellin and BR, which provides a foundation for the identification of more downstream genes with potential roles in phytohormone stimuli, and a basis for breeding better cotton varieties in the future.