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Plant Cell Rep. 2008 Feb;27(2):335-45. Epub 2007 Oct 30.

Identification of new ABA- and MEJA-activated sugarcane bZIP genes by data mining in the SUCEST database.

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  • 1Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, CP 6109, 13083-875 Campinas, SP, Brazil.


Sugarcane is generally propagated by cuttings of the stalk containing one or more lateral buds, which will develop into a new plant. The transition from the dormant into the active stage constitutes a complex phenomenon characterized by changes in accumulation of phytohormones and several other physiological aspects. Abscisic acid (ABA) and methyl-jasmonate (MeJA) are major signaling molecules, which influence plant development and stress responses. These plant regulators modulate gene expression with the participation of many transcriptional factors. Basic leucine zipper proteins (bZIPs) form a large family of transcriptional factors involved in a variety of plant physiological processes, such as development and responses to stress. Query sequences consisting of full-length protein sequence of each of the Arabidopsis bZIP families were utilized to screen the sugarcane EST database (SUCEST) and 86 sugarcane assembled sequences (SAS) coding for bZIPs were identified. cDNA arrays and RNA-gel blots were used to study the expression of these sugarcane bZIP genes during early plantlet development and in response to ABA and MeJA. Six bZIP genes were found to be differentially expressed during development. ABA and MeJA modulated the expression of eight sugarcane bZIP genes. Our findings provide novel insights into the expression of this large protein family of transcriptional factors in sugarcane.

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