Expression analysis of genes encoding double B-box zinc finger proteins in maize

Abstract

The B-box proteins play key roles in plant development. The double B-box (DBB) family is one of the subfamily of the B-box family, with two B-box domains and without a CCT domain. In this study, 12 maize double B-box genes (ZmDBBs) were identified through a genome-wide survey. Phylogenetic analysis of DBB proteins from maize, rice, Sorghum bicolor, Arabidopsis, and poplar classified them into five major clades. Gene duplication analysis indicated that segmental duplications made a large contribution to the expansion of ZmDBBs. Furthermore, a large number of cis-acting regulatory elements related to plant development, response to light and phytohormone were identified in the promoter regions of the ZmDBB genes. The expression patterns of the ZmDBB genes in various tissues and different developmental stages demonstrated that ZmDBBs might play essential roles in plant development, and some ZmDBB genes might have unique function in specific developmental stages. In addition, several ZmDBB genes showed diurnal expression pattern. The expression levels of some ZmDBB genes changed significantly under light/dark treatment conditions and phytohormone treatments, implying that they might participate in light signaling pathway and hormone signaling. Our results will provide new information to better understand the complexity of the DBB gene family in maize.

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