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Title: Mining the Brassica oleracea genome for Q-type C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor proteins

item Lawrence, Susan
item Novak, Nicole

Submitted to: Plant Molecular Biology Reporter
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/28/2015
Publication Date: 2/12/2015
Citation: Lawrence, S.D., Novak, N.G. 2015. Mining the Brassica oleracea genome for Q-type C2H2 zinc finger transcription factor proteins. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter. DOI:10.1007/s11105-015-0857-y.

Interpretive Summary: Plants that can survive saline soils or drought are crucial to the success of American agriculture. Scientists have determined that a family of regulatory genes known as the Q-type 2-fingered C2H2 transcription factors can play a crucial role in enhancing tolerance to such stresses. Identifying and characterizing new ones can augment breeding programs. This study identifies 25 of these genes in the newly sequenced genome of cabbage, a variety of the plant species Brassica oleracea, which includes numerous cruciferous plants such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Discovery of these new genes will be important to scientists and plant breeders interested in producing new varieties of these valuable vegetable crops.

Technical Abstract: Q-type zinc finger proteins have been studied in several plant species and have been associated with response to stress. A whole genome analysis of Arabidopsis identified 176 putative C2H2 transcription factors (TF). Q-type C2H2 TFs containing the QALGGH motif and are a subset of these. In Arabidopsis 18 have been described that contain 2 zinc-finger motifs per protein and several of these have been associated with a response to abiotic stress. The zinc finger motifs bind the promoters of genes, regulating their transcription. These Q-type proteins also contain an EAR motif that in those proteins that have been studied to date, negatively regulates the genes that the zinc fingers bind. Previously we have identified StZFP2 from potato as induced upon infestation by insect pests. Interest in finding similar proteins in the newly annotated cabbage genome (Brassica oleracea var. capitata) led to the discovery of 25 proteins with 2-Q-type zinc finger domains. Identification of the nearest homologs of these proteins in Arabidopsis and comparison of the map positions of both Arabidopsis and B. oleracea genes supports both the synteny between the genetic maps of these related species and the triplication event in Brassica species hypothesized to occur prior to the split from the ancestral progenitor of Arabidopsis and B. oleracea.