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Genome-wide characterization and expression analysis of citrus NUCLEAR FACTOR-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors identified a novel NF-YA gene involved in drought-stress response and tolerance

by Suzam L. S. Pereira, Cristina P. S. Martins, Aurizangela O. Sousa, Luciana R. Camillo, Caroline P. Araújo, Grazielle M. Alcantara, Danielle S. Camargo, Luciana C. Cidade, Alex-Alan F. de Almeida, Marcio G. C. Costa

Nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) is a ubiquitous transcription factor found in eukaryotes. It is composed of three distinct subunits called NF-YA, NF-YB and NF-YC. NF-Ys have been identified as key regulators of multiple pathways in the control of development and tolerance to biotic and abiotic factors. The present study aimed to identify and characterize the complete repertoire of genes coding for NF-Y in citrus, as well as to perform the functional characterization of one of its members, namely CsNFYA5, in transgenic tobacco plants. A total of 22 genes coding for NF-Y were identified in the genomes of sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) and Clementine mandarin (C. clementina), including six CsNF-YAs, 11 CsNF-YBs and five CsNF-YCs. Phylogenetic analyses showed that there is a NF-Y orthologous in the Clementine genome for each sweet orange NF-Y gene; this was not observed when compared to Arabidopsis thaliana. CsNF-Y proteins shared the same conserved domains with their orthologous proteins in other organisms, including mouse. Analysis of gene expression by RNA-seq and EST data demonstrated that CsNF-Ys have a tissue-specific and stress inducible expression profile. qRT-PCR analysis revealed that CsNF-YA5 exhibits differential expression in response to water deficit in leaves and roots of citrus plants. Overexpression of CsNF-YA5 in transgenic tobacco plants contributed to the reduction of H2O2 production under dehydration conditions and increased plant growth and photosynthetic rate under normal conditions and drought stress. These biochemical and physiological responses to drought stress promoted by CsNF-YA5 may confer a productivity advantage in environments with frequent short-term soil water deficit.

Authors:   Suzam L. S. Pereira; Cristina P. S. Martins; Aurizangela O. Sousa; Luciana R. Camillo; Caroline P. Araújo; Grazielle M. Alcantara; Danielle S. Camargo; Luciana C. Cidade; Alex-Alan F. de Almeida; Marcio G. C. Costa
Journal:   PLoS ONE
Volume:   13
edition:   6
Year:   2018
Pages:   e0199187
DOI:   10.1371/journal.pone.0199187
Publication date:   15-Jun-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • drought stress
  • water
  • tobacco
  • production
  • plants
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