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  • Author or Editor: Ruigang Wu x
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MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homologs) transcription factors (TFs) are involved in diverse physiological processes, including cell shape determination, cell differentiation, and secondary metabolism, as well as abiotic stress response. In the present study, MdMYB4, an R2R3-MYB protein that is a homolog of Arabidopsis thaliana MYB4, was identified and characterized. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) expression analysis demonstrated that MdMYB4 is extensively expressed in various apple (Malus domestica) tissues and that its expression is induced by cold, osmotic, and salt stress. An MdMYB4-GFP fusion protein was localized in the nucleus of transformed onion (Allium cepa) epidermal cells and had a certain transcriptional activation activity by yeast one-hybrid assay. Overexpression of the MdMYB4 gene remarkably enhanced the tolerance of stably transgenic apple calli to severe salt and cold stress, and both the relative conductivity and malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation of transgenic calli under salt and cold stress were significantly lower than in the wild type control. Taken together, these results suggest that MdMYB4 may play a positive regulatory role in both cold and salt stress responses.

Free access

Zinc finger–homeodomain (ZF-HD) proteins, a family of plant-specific transcription factors, play an important role in regulating plant growth and development, as well as responses to stress. Although ZF-HDs have been investigated in several model plants, no systematic studies have been reported in apple (Malus ×domestica). In this study, 14 putative ZF-HD genes were identified in the apple genome and characterized using bioinformatics tools. All members harbored complete canonical structures of the ZF-HD motif. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that ZF-HD genes in the genome of apple could be classified into four subfamilies, with high intragroup similarities. Gene-structure analysis revealed that although 11 MdZHDs had only one exon, MdZHD6 and MdZHD13 had two exons and MdZHD8 had six exons, suggesting limited variation among the apple ZHD genes. The expression profiles of MdZHD genes revealed their involvement in the growth and development of different tissues. Numerous binding sites for transcription factors, such as MYB, bZIP, and AP2, were found in the promoter region of the putative MdZHD genes. Nearly all putative MdZHDs were predicted to localize in the nucleus. Finally, the expression levels of the MdZHD genes under abiotic stress were examined in apple rootstock Malus hupehensis and the results showed that the expression of 10 MdZHD genes was induced in response to three abiotic stress factors. Exceptionally, the expression of MdZHD11 was not induced in response to any of the abiotic stress treatments, MdZHD12 was only induced in response to salt stress, and MdZHD7 and MdZHD9 were induced in response to both drought and salt stress. The present results provide valuable insights into the putative physiological and biochemical functions of MdZHDs in apple.

Open Access

Auxin response factors (ARFs) are an important family of auxin-mediated proteins that have key roles in various physiological and biochemical processes. To the best of our knowledge, no genome-wide identification of the ARF gene family in Arabian jasmine (Jasminum sambac) has been conducted to date. During this study, 24 ARF genes were identified in the Arabian jasmine genome. A phylogenetic analysis suggested that the 24 Arabian jasmine ARFs (JsARFs) were clustered into seven groups and distributed on 11 of the 13 Arabian jasmine chromosomes. The promoter regions of these ARFs were rich in cis-responsive elements related to hormone responses, light responses, and biotic and abiotic stresses. A collinearity analysis showed that certain genes arose by duplication, such as JsARF6 and JsARF19 and JsARF7 and JsARF24. A subsequent analysis of expression profiles based on RNA sequencing data showed that most genes had differential expression patterns among different tissues. The expression levels of 11 genes under indole-3-acetic acid hormone treatment were determined using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction, and the results demonstrated that the expression levels of nine JsARF genes were downregulated. Our findings provide valuable information to create the foundation for further functional investigations of the roles of ARF genes in Arabian jasmine growth and development.

Open Access

As one of the most important fruit tree crops, apple (Malus ×domestica), is faced with the serious impact of soil salinization. However, the underlying genetic and regulatory network remains elusive. Here, we adopted time-course RNA sequencing to decipher the genetic basis and regulatory module of apple in response to salt stress. Among a series of intense changes in genes at each time point, the critical genes in the mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway were highly consistent with the duration of the stress treatment. Moreover, Salt Overly Sensitive 1 (SOS1) genes were identified and predicted to play important roles in the response process. We constructed coexpression modules and explored modules significantly associated with stress. SOS genes were identified in the hub genes, suggesting a critical role. Interestingly, transcription factors were also identified and predicted to cointeract with SOS genes in the hub genes of the coexpression module [e.g., HB7 (MD01G1226600), WRKY33 (MD12G1181000), and ERF106 (MD07G1248700)]. Collectively, our exploration and findings provide a reference and data resource for the study of genetic and salt regulatory networks in apple.

Open Access