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Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 6;6:18973. doi: 10.1038/srep18973.

Genome-wide identification of calcium-dependent protein kinases in soybean and analyses of their transcriptional responses to insect herbivory and drought stress.

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Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650201, China.


Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are plant-specific calcium sensors that play important roles in various aspects of plant physiology. Here, we investigated phylogenic relationships, chromosomal locations, gene structures, and tissue-specific, herbivory- and drought-induced expression profiles of soybean (Glycine max) GmCDPKs. Fifty GmCDPK genes were identified, which phylogenetically grouped into 4 distinct clusters and distributed across 13 sub-clusters. Individual classes of GmCDPKs harbor highly conserved mRNA splicing sites, and their exon numbers and lengths were consistent with the phylogenetic relationships, suggesting that at least 13 ancestral CDPK genes had emerged before the split of monocots and eudicots. Gene expression analysis indicated that several GmCDPKs were tissue-specific expressed. GmCDPKs' transcript levels changed after wounding, exhibited specific expression patterns after simulated Spodoptera exigua feeding or soybean aphid (Aphis glycines) herbivory, and were largely independent of the phytohormones jasmonic acid and salicylic acid. The most pronounced transcriptional responses were detected after drought and abscisic acid treatments with more than half of all GmCDPKs being upregulated, suggesting their important roles during abiotic stress responses in soybean. Our data provide an important foundation for further functional dissection of GmCDPKs, especially in the context of soybean-insect interactions and drought stress adaptation.

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