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Genome-wide analysis of the serine carboxypeptidase-like protein family in Triticum aestivum reveals TaSCPL184-6D is involved in abiotic stress response

Xiaomin Xu, Lili Zhang, Wan Zhao, Liang Fu, Yuxuan Han, Keke Wang, Luyu Yan, Ye Li, Xiao-Hong Zhang, Dong-Hong Min

BMC Genomics

DOI:10.1186/s12864-021-07647-6

Abstract

Background: The serine carboxypeptidase-like protein (SCPL) family plays a vital role in stress response, growth, development and pathogen defense. However, the identification and functional analysis of SCPL gene family members have not yet been performed in wheat.

Results: In this study, we identified a total of 210 candidate genes encoding SCPL proteins in wheat. According to their structural characteristics, it is possible to divide these members into three subfamilies: CPI, CPII and CPIII. We uncovered a total of 209 TaSCPL genes unevenly distributed across 21 wheat chromosomes, of which 65.7% are present in triads. Gene duplication analysis showed that ~ 10.5% and ~ 64.8% of the TaSCPL genes are derived from tandem and segmental duplication events, respectively. Moreover, the Ka/Ks ratios between duplicated TaSCPL gene pairs were lower than 0.6, which suggests the action of strong purifying selection. Gene structure analysis showed that most of the TaSCPL genes contain multiple introns and that the motifs present in each subfamily are relatively conserved. Our analysis on cis-acting elements showed that the promoter sequences of TaSCPL genes are enriched in drought-, ABA- and MeJA-responsive elements. In addition, we studied the expression profiles of TaSCPL genes in different tissues at different developmental stages. We then evaluated the expression levels of four TaSCPL genes by qRT-PCR, and selected TaSCPL184-6D for further downstream analysis. The results showed an enhanced drought and salt tolerance among TaSCPL184-6D transgenic Arabidopsis plants, and that the overexpression of the gene increased proline and decreased malondialdehyde levels, which might help plants adapting to adverse environments. Our results provide comprehensive analyses of wheat SCPL genes that might work as a reference for future studies aimed at improving drought and salt tolerance in wheat.

Conclusions: We conducte a comprehensive bioinformatic analysis of the TaSCPL gene family in wheat, which revealing the potential roles of TaSCPL genes in abiotic stress. Our analysis also provides useful resources for improving the resistance of wheat.