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Planta. 2011 Mar;233(3):569-82. doi: 10.1007/s00425-010-1315-6. Epub 2010 Nov 26.

Soybean 14-3-3 gene family: identification and molecular characterization.

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Southern Crop Protection and Food Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 1391 Sandford Street, London, ON, N5V 4T3, Canada.


The 14-3-3s are a group of proteins that are ubiquitously found in eukaryotes. Plant 14-3-3 proteins are encoded by a large multigene family and are involved in signaling pathways to regulate plant development and protection from stress. Recent studies in Arabidopsis and rice have demonstrated the isoform specificity in 14-3-3s and their client protein interactions. However, detailed characterization of 14-3-3 gene family in legumes has not been reported. In this study, soybean 14-3-3 proteins were identified and their molecular characterization performed. Data mining of soybean genome and expressed sequence tag databases identified 18 14-3-3 genes, of them 16 are transcribed. All 16 SGF14s have higher expression in embryo tissues suggesting their potential role in seed development. Subcellular localization of all transcribed SGF14s demonstrated that 14-3-3 proteins in soybean have isoform specificity, however, some overlaps were also observed between closely related isoforms. A comparative analysis of SGF14s with Arabidopsis and rice 14-3-3s indicated that SGF14s also group into epsilon and non-epsilon classes. However, unlike Arabidopsis and rice 14-3-3s, SGF14s contained only one kind of gene structure belonging to each class. Overall, soybean consists of the largest family of 14-3-3 proteins characterized to date. Our results provide a solid framework for further investigations into the role of SGF14s and their involvement in legume-specific functions.

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