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Mol Genet Genomics. 2015 Jun;290(3):1095-115. doi: 10.1007/s00438-014-0978-2. Epub 2014 Dec 27.

Genome-wide expression analysis of soybean NF-Y genes reveals potential function in development and drought response.

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Division of Plant Sciences and National Center for Soybean Biotechnology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, 65211, USA.


Nuclear factor-Y (NF-Y), a heterotrimeric transcription factor, is composed of NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC proteins. In plants, there are usually more than 10 genes for each family and their members have been identified to be key regulators in many developmental and physiological processes controlling gametogenesis, embryogenesis, nodule development, seed development, abscisic acid (ABA) signaling, flowering time, primary root elongation, blue light responses, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response and drought tolerance. Taking the advantages of the recent soybean genome draft and information on functional characterizations of nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) transcription factor family in plants, we identified 21 GmNF-YA, 32 GmNF-YB, and 15 GmNF-YC genes in the soybean (Glycine max) genome. Phylogenetic analyses show that soybean's proteins share strong homology to Arabidopsis and many of them are closely related to functionally characterized NF-Y in plants. Expression analysis in various tissues of flower, leaf, root, seeds of different developmental stages, root hairs under rhizobium inoculation, and drought-treated roots and leaves revealed that certain groups of soybean NF-Y are likely involved in specific developmental and stress responses. This study provides extensive evaluation of the soybean NF-Y family and is particularly useful for further functional characterization of GmNF-Y proteins in seed development, nodulation and drought adaptation of soybean.

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