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FEBS Open Bio. 2019 Feb 21;9(4):629-642. doi: 10.1002/2211-5463.12596. eCollection 2019 Apr.

The EIL transcription factor family in soybean: Genome-wide identification, expression profiling and genetic diversity analysis.

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College of Life Sciences and Oceanography Shenzhen University China.
Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Devices and Systems of Ministry of Education and Guangdong Province College of Optoelectronic Engineering Shenzhen University China.
Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing China.
College of Horticulture Henan Agricultural University Zhengzhou China.


The ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3-LIKE (EIL) transcription factor family plays a critical role in the ethylene signaling pathway, which regulates a broad spectrum of plant growth and developmental processes, as well as defenses to myriad stresses. Although genome-wide analysis of this family has been carried out for several plant species, no comprehensive analysis of the EIL gene family in soybean has been reported so far. Furthermore, there are few studies on the functions of EIL genes in soybean. In this study, we identified 12 soybean (Gm) EIL genes, which we divided into three groups based on their phylogenetic relationships. We then detected their duplication status and found that most of the GmEIL genes have duplicated copies derived from two whole-genome duplication events. These duplicated genes underwent strong negative selection during evolution. We further analyzed the transcript profiles of GmEIL genes using the transcriptome data and found that their spatio-temporal and stress expression patterns varied considerably. For example, GmEIL1-GmEIL5 were found to be strongly expressed in almost every sample, while GmEIL8-GmEIL12 exhibited low expression, or were not expressed at all. Additionally, these genes showed different responses to dehydration, salinity and phosphate starvation. Finally, we surveyed genetic variations of these genes in 302 resequenced wild soybeans, landraces and improved soybean cultivars. Our data showed that most GmEIL genes are well conserved, and are not modified in domesticated or improved cultivars. Together, these findings provide a potentially valuable resource for characterizing the GmEIL gene family and lay the basis for further elucidation of their molecular mechanisms.


EIL gene family; ethylene; ethylene signaling; soybean

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