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BMC Genomics. 2017 Nov 2;18(1):842. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4240-2.

Genome-wide identification and expression analysis of calmodulin-like (CML) genes in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis).

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College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.
College of Horticulture, Northwest A&F University, Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.



Calmodulin-like (CML) proteins are a primary family of plant-specific Ca2+ sensors that specifically bind to Ca2+ and deliver a Ca2+ signal. CML proteins have been identified and characterized in many plant species, such as the model plant Arabidopsis and rice. Based on considerable evidence, the roles of CML proteins are crucial in plant growth and development and in the response to various external stimuli. Nevertheless, the characterization and expression profiling of CML genes in Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis) remain limited.


In this study, a genome-wide search and comprehensive analysis were performed, and a total of 79 BrCML genes were identified in Chinese cabbage. Gene structure analysis revealed that these BrCML genes contained two to four conserved EF-hand motifs. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CML homologs between Chinese cabbage and Arabidopsis shared close relationships. The identified BrCML genes were located across ten chromosomes and three different subgenomes of Chinese cabbage. Moreover, 126 pairs of orthologous CML genes were found among Chinese cabbage, Arabidopsis and Brassica oleracea. Expression analysis revealed that the expression of some BrCML genes was tissue-specific and that of some was susceptible to temperature stress. A putative interaction network of BrCML proteins was proposed, which suggested that BrCML2, BrCML6, BrCML15 and BrCML25 were co-expressed and might play roles in flower development and other relevant biological processes of Chinese cabbage.


The results of this study increased the understanding and characterization of BrCML genes in Chinese cabbage, and will be a rich resource for further studies to investigate BrCML protein function in various developmental processes of Chinese cabbage.


CML gene; Chinese cabbage; Expression profiling; Interaction network; Stress response

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