Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 327–334 | Cite as

In silico characterization and expression analysis of the multigene family encoding the Bowman–Birk protease inhibitor in soybean

  • Beatriz de Almeida Barros
  • Wiliane Garcia da Silva
  • Maurilio Alves Moreira
  • Everaldo Gonçalves de Barros


The Bowman–Birk (BBI) protease inhibitors can be used as source of sulfur amino acids, can regulate endogenous protease activity during seed germination and during the defense response of plants to pathogens. In soybean this family has not been fully described. The goal of this work was to characterize in silico and analyze the expression of the members of this family in soybean. We identified 11 potential BBI genes in the soybean genome. In each one of them at least a characteristic BBI conserved domain was detected in addition to a potential signal peptide. The sequences have been positioned in the soybean physical map and the promoter regions were analyzed with respect to known regulatory elements. Elements related to seed-specific expression and also to response to biotic and abiotic stresses have been identified. Based on the in silico analysis and also on quantitative RT-PCR data it was concluded that BBI-A, BBI-CII and BBI-DII are expressed specifically in the seed. The expression profiles of these three genes are similar along seed development. Their expressions reach a maximum in the intermediate stages and decrease as the seed matures. The BBI-DII transcripts are the most abundant ones followed by those of BBI-A and BBI-CII.


BBI Glycine max qRT-PCR 



This work was funded by CNPq, FAPEMIG and FINEP (Brazilian Government). B.A. Barros was the recipient of a PhD fellowship from CNPq.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beatriz de Almeida Barros
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wiliane Garcia da Silva
    • 1
    • 2
  • Maurilio Alves Moreira
    • 1
    • 3
  • Everaldo Gonçalves de Barros
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Biotecnologia Aplicada à Agropecuária—BIOAGROUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia GeralUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Bioquímica e Biologia MolecularUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil

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