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Identification and Functional Divergence Analysis of WOX Gene Family in Paper Mulberry
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Tang F, Chen NZ, Zhao ML, Wang YC, He RP, Peng XJ*, Shen SH*
PubYear : 2017
Volume : 18  Issue : 8
Publication Name : International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Page number : 1782
Abstract : 

The WOX (WUSCHEL-related homeobox) is a plant-specific transcription factor involved in plant development and stress response. However, few studies have been reported on the WOX gene in woody plants. In this study, 10 BpWOX genes were isolated from paper mulberry by RACE-PCR and categorized into three clades through phylogenetic analysis, ancient, intermediate and WUS clade. Among them, five members had the transcriptional activity detected by yeast one-hybrid and seven were uniquely localized to the nucleus through green fluorescent protein (GFP) observation. The expression patterns of BpWOX genes in different tissues and under diverse treatments were quantified by the qRT-PCR method. Results showed that BpWUS was expressed in the apical bud, stem and root, BpWOX5 and BpWOX7 functioned only in the root tip, and three BpWOXs regulated leaf development redundantly. BpWOX9 and BpWOX10 were induced by indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) or jasmonic acid (JA), while BpWOX2 was repressed by five phytohormones. Interestingly, most BpWOX genes were responsive to the abiotic stress stimuli of drought, salt, cold, and cadmium (CdCl2). Together, our study revealed that BpWOXs were functionally divergent during paper mulberry development and environmental adaptation, which might be related to their evolutionary relationships. Our work will benefit the systematic understanding of the precise function of WOX in plant development and environmental stress responses.

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