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Evolutionary Divergence of Duplicated Hsf Genes in Populus

1, 2 and 2,3,*
College of Forestry, Fujian Colleges and Universities Engineering Research Institute of Conservation & Utilization of Natural Bioresources, Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University, Fuzhou 350002, China
State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China
Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(5), 438;
Received: 22 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioinformatics and Computational Biology 2019)
PDF [5877 KB, uploaded 10 May 2019]


Heat shock transcription factors (Hsfs), which function as the activator of heat shock proteins (Hsps), play multiple roles in response to environmental stress and the development of plants. The Hsf family had experienced gene expansion via whole-genome duplication from a single cell algae to higher plants. However, how the Hsf gene family went through evolutionary divergence after genome duplication is unknown. As a model wood species, Populus trichocarpa is widely distributed in North America with various ecological and climatic environments. In this study, we used P. trichocarpa as materials and identified the expression divergence of the PtHsf gene family in developmental processes, such as dormant bud formation and opening, catkins development, and in response to environments. Through the co-expression network, we further discovered the divergent co-expressed genes that related to the functional divergence of PtHsfs. Then, we studied the alternative splicing events, single nucleotide polymorphism distribution and tertiary structures of members of the PtHsf gene family. In addition to expression divergence, we uncovered the evolutionary divergence in the protein level which may be important to new function formations and for survival in changing environments. This study comprehensively analyzed the evolutionary divergence of a member of the PtHsf gene family after genome duplication, paving the way for further gene function analysis and genetic engineering. View Full-Text
Keywords: Populus; heat shock transcription factors; gene duplication; gene expression; alternative splicing; single nucleotide polymorphism; protein structure; co-expression network Populus; heat shock transcription factors; gene duplication; gene expression; alternative splicing; single nucleotide polymorphism; protein structure; co-expression network

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Liu, B.; Hu, J.; Zhang, J. Evolutionary Divergence of Duplicated Hsf Genes in Populus. Cells 2019, 8, 438.

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