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Open AccessArticle

New Insights into Evolution of Plant Heat Shock Factors (Hsfs) and Expression Analysis of Tea Genes in Response to Abiotic Stresses

Department of Tea Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Quzhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Quzhou 324000, Zhejiang, China
Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture, Suzhou 215008, China
Wulanchabu Academy of Agricultural and Husbandry Sciences, Wulanchabu 012000, Inner Mongolia, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Plants 2020, 9(3), 311;
Received: 3 February 2020 / Revised: 18 February 2020 / Accepted: 26 February 2020 / Published: 2 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolutionary Genomics)
Heat shock transcription factor (Hsf) is one of key regulators in plant abotic stress response. Although the Hsf gene family has been identified from several plant species, original and evolution relationship have been fragmented. In addition, tea, an important crop, genome sequences have been completed and function of the Hsf family genes in response to abiotic stresses was not illuminated. In this study, a total of 4208 Hsf proteins were identified within 163 plant species from green algae (Gonium pectorale) to angiosperm (monocots and dicots), which were distributed unevenly into each of plant species tested. The result indicated that Hsf originated during the early evolutionary history of chlorophytae algae and genome-wide genetic varies had occurred during the course of evolution in plant species. Phylogenetic classification of Hsf genes from the representative nine plant species into ten subfamilies, each of which contained members from different plant species, imply that gene duplication had occurred during the course of evolution. In addition, based on RNA-seq data, the member of the Hsfs showed different expression levels in the different organs and at the different developmental stages in tea. Expression patterns also showed clear differences among Camellia species, indicating that regulation of Hsf genes expression varied between organs in a species-specific manner. Furthermore, expression of most Hsfs in response to drought, cold and salt stresses, imply a possible positive regulatory role under abiotic stresses. Expression profiles of nineteen Hsf genes in response to heat stress were also analyzed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Several stress-responsive Hsf genes were highly regulated by heat stress treatment. In conclusion, these results lay a solid foundation for us to elucidate the evolutionary origin of plant Hsfs and Hsf functions in tea response to abiotic stresses in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: evolutionary relationship; expression patterns; phylogenetic tree; RNA-seq; abiotic stress evolutionary relationship; expression patterns; phylogenetic tree; RNA-seq; abiotic stress
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Xu, P.; Guo, Q.; Pang, X.; Zhang, P.; Kong, D.; Liu, J. New Insights into Evolution of Plant Heat Shock Factors (Hsfs) and Expression Analysis of Tea Genes in Response to Abiotic Stresses. Plants 2020, 9, 311.

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