Genome-wide identification and characterization of heat shock factor genes from pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan)  

Maibam A1 , Tyagi A2 , Satheesh V1 , Mahato AK1 , Jain N1 , Raje RS2 , Rao AR3 , Gaikwad K1 , Singh NK1
1. National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, New Delhi, India
2. Division of Genetics, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
3. Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute, New Delhi, India
Author    Correspondence author
Molecular Plant Breeding, 2015, Vol. 6, No. 7   doi: 10.5376/mpb.2015.06.0007
Received: 10 Jan., 2015    Accepted: 28 Feb., 2015    Published: 26 Mar., 2015
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Preferred citation for this article:

Maibam et al., Genome-wide identification and characterization of heat shock factor genes from pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan), Molecular Plant Breeding, 2015, Vol.6, No. 7 1-11 (doi: 10.5376/mpb.2015.06.0007)

Abstract

Genome-wide analysis of heat shock factor (Hsf) genes was carried out in pigeonpea (Cajanus cajan) in order to understand their structure and function. A total of 23 Hsfs were predicted using FGENESH and labeled as CcHsf. Out of the 23 genes, 14 unique sequences were selected and characterized for their presumed structures such as protein domain and motif organization. The phylogenetic relationships and expression profiling of CcHsf genes under heat-stress was studied. Phylogenetic analysis showed that CcHsf genes were distributed into eight groups. In this study, classes A, B, and C were further subdivided into subclasses such as A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A8, A9, B1, B2, B3, B4 and C1. Expression profiling of all 14 genes was carried out by semi-quantitative PCR, among which CcHsfA-1d and CcHsfA-2 were observed to be highly upregulated during heat-stress. Relative quantification with qRT-PCR showed that CcHsfA-1d is upregulated 2-6 hrs after heat-stress indicating its significant role as an early response factor. Our study provides a glimpse of the Hsf gene family in pigeonpea and this information can be utilized to gain more insight into the heat-response mechanism in pigeonpea.

Abbreviations: AHA - Aromatic/ Hydrophobic /Acidic; Hsf - Heat Shock Factors; IRRK- Isoleucine, Arginine, Arginine, Lysine; NLS - Nuclear Localization Signal; NES - Nuclear Export Signal

Keywords
Domain; Glycine max; Heat shock factor; Motif; Pigeonpea; Phylogenetics

Pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millspaugh] is one of the important tropical legume crops providing food and nutritional security largely to Asia and Africa. It is also known as tropical green pea, congopea, gungopea or no-eye pea. It is a diploid (2n=22), perennial woody shrub, often cross-pollinated crop belonging to the family Fabaceae. The pigeonpea genome was sequenced by two groups (Singh et al., 2011; Varshney et al., 2011), and its size was estimated to be between 833- 858Mb. Apart from being drought-tolerant, pigeonpea is also known to be heat-tolerant and grows well in the south Asian peninsula in the rainy season when the day temperatures are quite high. Under the current climatic regime which tends to be erratic, global warming will adversely impact almost all aspects of plant development, growth, reproduction and yield (Treshow, 1970). Organisms tend to maintain homeostasis during stress period (Boron, 2003). As compared to animals, plants are sessile organisms that cannot escape heat and are forced to adapt by modifying their metabolism to prevent damage caused by high temperatures. Various responses are exhibited by a plant during heat stress such as morphological damage, anatomical changes, physiological and expression of stress related proteins. These stress proteins are mainly responsible for the stability of other cellular proteins and membranes. During heat stress, protein denaturation starts and key regulators known as heat shock factors (Hsf), which regulate heat shock proteins (Hsp) are activated (Wu et al., 1995; Yamada et al., 2007; Fujimoto et al., 2010). The Hsfs recognize and bind to the conserved palindromic heat shock element (HSE- 5-AGAAnnTTCT-3) present in the promoters of most of the heat stress-inducible genes (Wu et al., 1995). The heat stress transcri

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