The plant U-box (PUB) protein family plays an important role in plant growth and development. The U-box gene family has been well studied in Arabidopsis thaliana, Brassica rapa, rice, etc., but there have been no systematic studies in Brassica oleracea. In this study, we performed genome-wide identification and evolutionary analysis of the U-box protein family of B. oleracea. Firstly, based on the Brassica database (BRAD) and the Bolbase database, 99 Brassica oleracea PUB genes were identified and divided into seven groups (I–VII). The BoPUB genes are unevenly distributed on the nine chromosomes of B. oleracea, and there are tandem repeat genes, leading to family expansion from the A. thaliana genome to the B. oleracea genome. The protein interaction network, GO annotation, and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis indicated that the biological processes and specific functions of the BoPUB genes may mainly involve abiotic stress. RNA-seq transcriptome data of different pollination times revealed spatiotemporal expression specificity of the BoPUB genes. The differential expression profile was consistent with the results of RT-qPCR analysis. Additionally, a large number of pollen-specific cis-acting elements were found in promoters of differentially expressed genes (DEG), which verified that these significantly differentially expressed genes after self-pollination (SP) were likely to participate in the self-incompatibility (SI) process, including gene encoding ARC1, a well-known downstream protein of SI in B. oleracea. Our study provides valuable information indicating that the BoPUB genes participates not only in the abiotic stress response, but are also involved in pollination.
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