Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) Gene Family in Maize: Identification, Evolution, and Expression Profiles
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Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) proteins are identified as a large and highly diverse group of polypeptides accumulating in response to cellular dehydration in many organisms. However, there are only very limited reports of this protein family in maize until this study. In the present paper, we identified 32 LEA genes in maize. A total of 83 LEA proteins including 51 members in Arabidopsis and 32 putative members in maize were classified into nine groups. Gene organization and motif compositions of the LEA members are highly conserved in each of the groups, indicative of their functional conservation. The predicted ZmLEA genes were non-random distributed across chromosomes, and transposition event and segmental duplication contributed to the expansion of the LEA gene family in maize. Some abiotic stress-responsive cis-elements were also found in the promoters of ZmLEA genes. Microarray expression analyses revealed different accumulation patterns of ZmLEA family members. Moreover, some members of ZmLEAs were regulated under IAA and some abiotic stresses. This study will provide comprehensive information for maize LEA gene family and may pave the way for deciphering their functions in further studies.
KeywordsExpression profiles Evolution Late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) protein Maize
Day after planting
Grand average hydropathy
Late embryogenesis abundant
Multiple EM for motif elicitation
Transcription start site
This project is supported by grants from the National Science Foundation of China (31100923), the National Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK2011467), the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (PAPD) and Jiangsu University “Youth Backbone Teacher Training Project” (2012–2016) to J.C.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
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