Identification and molecular characterization of MYB Transcription Factor Superfamily in C4 model plant foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.).

Research paper by Mehanathan M Muthamilarasan, Rohit R Khandelwal, Chandra Bhan CB Yadav, Venkata Suresh VS Bonthala, Yusuf Y Khan, Manoj M Prasad

Indexed on: 04 Oct '14Published on: 04 Oct '14Published in: PloS one


MYB proteins represent one of the largest transcription factor families in plants, playing important roles in diverse developmental and stress-responsive processes. Considering its significance, several genome-wide analyses have been conducted in almost all land plants except foxtail millet. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica L.) is a model crop for investigating systems biology of millets and bioenergy grasses. Further, the crop is also known for its potential abiotic stress-tolerance. In this context, a comprehensive genome-wide survey was conducted and 209 MYB protein-encoding genes were identified in foxtail millet. All 209 S. italica MYB (SiMYB) genes were physically mapped onto nine chromosomes of foxtail millet. Gene duplication study showed that segmental- and tandem-duplication have occurred in genome resulting in expansion of this gene family. The protein domain investigation classified SiMYB proteins into three classes according to number of MYB repeats present. The phylogenetic analysis categorized SiMYBs into ten groups (I-X). SiMYB-based comparative mapping revealed a maximum orthology between foxtail millet and sorghum, followed by maize, rice and Brachypodium. Heat map analysis showed tissue-specific expression pattern of predominant SiMYB genes. Expression profiling of candidate MYB genes against abiotic stresses and hormone treatments using qRT-PCR revealed specific and/or overlapping expression patterns of SiMYBs. Taken together, the present study provides a foundation for evolutionary and functional characterization of MYB TFs in foxtail millet to dissect their functions in response to environmental stimuli.