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Genes 2017, 8(9), 231;

Transcription Factors Responding to Pb Stress in Maize

Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Maize in Southwest Region, Maize Research Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
Animal Nutrition Research Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 18 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics and Epigenomics for Trait Improvement)
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Pb can damage the physiological function of human organs by entering the human body via food-chain enrichment. Revealing the mechanisms of maize tolerance to Pb is critical for preventing this. In this study, a Pb-tolerant maize inbred line, 178, was used to analyse transcription factors (TFs) expressed under Pb stress based on RNA sequencing data. A total of 464 genes expressed in control check (CK) or Pb treatment samples were annotated as TFs. Among them, 262 differentially expressed transcription factors (DETs) were identified that responded to Pb treatment. Furthermore, the DETs were classified into 4 classes according to their expression patterns, and 17, 12 and 2 DETs were significantly annotated to plant hormone signal transduction, basal transcription factors and base excision repair, respectively. Seventeen DETs were found to participate in the plant hormone signal transduction pathway, where basic leucine zippers (bZIPs) were the most significantly enriched TFs, with 12 members involved. We further obtained 5 Arabidopsis transfer DNA (T-DNA) mutants for 6 of the maize bZIPs, among which the mutants atbzip20 and atbzip47, representing ZmbZIP54 and ZmbZIP107, showed obviously inhibited growth of roots and above-ground parts, compared with wild type. Five highly Pb-tolerant and 5 highly Pb-sensitive in maize lines were subjected to DNA polymorphism and expression level analysis of ZmbZIP54 and ZmbZIP107. The results suggested that differences in bZIPs expression partially accounted for the differences in Pb-tolerance among the maize lines. Our results contribute to the understanding of the molecular regulation mechanisms of TFs in maize under Pb stress. View Full-Text
Keywords: transcription factor; maize; stress; validation transcription factor; maize; stress; validation

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Zhang, Y.; Ge, F.; Hou, F.; Sun, W.; Zheng, Q.; Zhang, X.; Ma, L.; Fu, J.; He, X.; Peng, H.; Pan, G.; Shen, Y. Transcription Factors Responding to Pb Stress in Maize. Genes 2017, 8, 231.

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