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Mol Genet Genomics. 2016 Dec;291(6):2015-2030. Epub 2016 Jul 30.

Global identification and expression analysis of stress-responsive genes of the Argonaute family in apple.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Biology and Molecular Biology in University of Shandong, Weifang University, Weifang, Shandong, 261061, China. xuruirui2006@163.com.
2
Key Laboratory of Biology and Molecular Biology in University of Shandong, Weifang University, Weifang, Shandong, 261061, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, National Research Center for Apple Engineering and Technology, College of Horticulture Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, 61# Daizong Street, Tai'an, Shandong, 271018, China.
4
State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, National Research Center for Apple Engineering and Technology, College of Horticulture Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, 61# Daizong Street, Tai'an, Shandong, 271018, China. shizhongsdau@gmail.com.

Abstract

Argonaute (AGO) proteins, which are found in yeast, animals, and plants, are the core molecules of the RNA-induced silencing complex. These proteins play important roles in plant growth, development, and responses to biotic stresses. The complete analysis and classification of the AGO gene family have been recently reported in different plants. Nevertheless, systematic analysis and expression profiling of these genes have not been performed in apple (Malus domestica). Approximately 15 AGO genes were identified in the apple genome. The phylogenetic tree, chromosome location, conserved protein motifs, gene structure, and expression of the AGO gene family in apple were analyzed for gene prediction. All AGO genes were phylogenetically clustered into four groups (i.e., AGO1, AGO4, MEL1/AGO5, and ZIPPY/AGO7) with the AGO genes of Arabidopsis. These groups of the AGO gene family were statistically analyzed and compared among 31 plant species. The predicted apple AGO genes are distributed across nine chromosomes at different densities and include three segment duplications. Expression studies indicated that 15 AGO genes exhibit different expression patterns in at least one of the tissues tested. Additionally, analysis of gene expression levels indicated that the genes are mostly involved in responses to NaCl, PEG, heat, and low-temperature stresses. Hence, several candidate AGO genes are involved in different aspects of physiological and developmental processes and may play an important role in abiotic stress responses in apple. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report a comprehensive analysis of the apple AGO gene family. Our results provide useful information to understand the classification and putative functions of these proteins, especially for gene members that may play important roles in abiotic stress responses in M. hupehensis.

KEYWORDS:

Argonaute; Expression analysis; Gene family; Malus domestica; Stress

PMID:
27475441
DOI:
10.1007/s00438-016-1236-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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