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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(7), 1004; doi:10.3390/ijms17071004

Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary Analysis, and Stress Responses of the GRAS Gene Family in Castor Beans

1,* and 2,*
College of Life Sciences, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
Department of Economic Plants and Biotechnology, Yunnan Key Laboratory for Wild Plant Resources, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650204, China
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Department of Botany, University of Karachi, Karachi-75270, Pakistan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marcello Iriti
Received: 29 April 2016 / Revised: 17 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Botany)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3780 KB, uploaded 24 June 2016]   |  


Plant-specific GRAS transcription factors play important roles in regulating growth, development, and stress responses. Castor beans (Ricinus communis) are important non-edible oilseed plants, cultivated worldwide for its seed oils and its adaptability to growth conditions. In this study, we identified and characterized a total of 48 GRAS genes based on the castor bean genome. Combined with phylogenetic analysis, the castor bean GRAS members were divided into 13 distinct groups. Functional divergence analysis revealed the presence of mostly Type-I functional divergence. The gene structures and conserved motifs, both within and outside the GRAS domain, were characterized. Gene expression analysis, performed in various tissues and under a range of abiotic stress conditions, uncovered the potential functions of GRAS members in regulating plant growth development and stress responses. The results obtained from this study provide valuable information toward understanding the potential molecular mechanisms of GRAS proteins in castor beans. These findings also serve as a resource for identifying the genes that allow castor beans to grow in stressful conditions and to enable further breeding and genetic improvements in agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: GRAS gene family; castor beans; gene expression; abiotic stress; phylogenetic relationship GRAS gene family; castor beans; gene expression; abiotic stress; phylogenetic relationship

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Xu, W.; Chen, Z.; Ahmed, N.; Han, B.; Cui, Q.; Liu, A. Genome-Wide Identification, Evolutionary Analysis, and Stress Responses of the GRAS Gene Family in Castor Beans. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1004.

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