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J Integr Plant Biol. 2012 Sep;54(9):616-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01149.x.

Genome-wide transcription factor gene prediction and their expressional tissue-specificities in maize.

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State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology and National Maize Improvement Center, Department of Plant Genetics and Breeding, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


Transcription factors (TFs) are important regulators of gene expression. To better understand TF-encoding genes in maize (Zea mays L.), a genome-wide TF prediction was performed using the updated B73 reference genome. A total of 2298 TF genes were identified, which can be classified into 56 families. The largest family, known as the MYB superfamily, comprises 322 MYB and MYB-related TF genes. The expression patterns of 2 014 (87.64%) TF genes were examined using RNA-seq data, which resulted in the identification of a subset of TFs that are specifically expressed in particular tissues (including root, shoot, leaf, ear, tassel and kernel). Similarly, 98 kernel-specific TF genes were further analyzed, and it was observed that 29 of the kernel-specific genes were preferentially expressed in the early kernel developmental stage, while 69 of the genes were expressed in the late kernel developmental stage. Identification of these TFs, particularly the tissue-specific ones, provides important information for the understanding of development and transcriptional regulation of maize.

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