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Plant Mol Biol. 2002 Aug;49(6):633-44.

AtHVA22 gene family in Arabidopsis: phylogenetic relationship, ABA and stress regulation, and tissue-specific expression.

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Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


HVA22 is an ABA- and stress-inducible gene first isolated from barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Homologues of HVA22 have been found in plants, animals, fungi and protozoa, but not in prokaryotes, suggesting that HVA22 plays a unique role in eukaryotes. Five HVA22 homologues, designated AtHVA22a, b, c, d and e, have been identified in Arabidopsis. These five AtHVA22 homologues can be separated into two subfamilies, with AtHVA22a, b and c grouped in one subfamily and AtHVA22d and e in the other. Phylogenetic analyses show that AtHVA22d and e are closer to barley HVA22 than to AtHVA22a, b and c, suggesting that the two subfamilies had diverged before the divergence of monocots and dicots. The distribution and size of exons of AtHVA22 homologues and barley HVA22 are similar, suggesting that these genes are descendents of a common ancestor. AtHVA22 homologues are differentially regulated by ABA, cold, dehydration and salt stresses. These four treatments enhance AtHVA22a, d and e expression, but have little or even suppressive effect on AtHVA22c expression. ABA and salt stress induce AtHVA22b expression, but cold stress suppresses ABA induction of this gene. Expression of AtHVA22d is the most tightly regulated by these four treatments among the five homologues. In general, AtHVA22 homologues are expressed at a higher level in flower buds and inflorescence stems than in rosette and cauline leaves. The expression level of these homologues in immature siliques is the lowest among all tissues analyzed. It is suggested that some of these AtHVA22 family members may play a role in stress tolerance, and others are involved in plant reproductive development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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