An expression analysis of 57 transcription factors derived from ESTs of developing seeds in Maize (Zea mays)

Plant Cell Rep. 2010 Jun;29(6):545-59. doi: 10.1007/s00299-010-0843-7. Epub 2010 Mar 25.


Maize seeds are an important source of food, animal feed, and industrial raw materials. To understand global gene expression and regulation during maize seed development, a normalized cDNA library, covering most of the developmental stages of maize seeds, was constructed. Sequencing analysis of 10,848 randomly selected clones identified 6,630 unique ESTs. Among them, 57 putative transcription factors (TFs) were identified. The TFs belong to seven different super-families, specifically 17 Zinc-finger, 13 bZIP, 8 bHLH, 6 MADS, 7 MYB, 3 Homedomain, and 3 AP2/EREBP. The spatial and temporal expression of the TFs was analyzed by semi-quantitative RT-PCR with representative tissue types and seeds at different developmental stages, revealing their diverse expression patterns and expression levels. One-third (19) of the maize TFs was found their putative orthologs in Arabidopsis. Similar expression patterns were observed in both maize and Arabidopsis for the majority of orthologous pairs (15 out of 19), suggesting their conserved functions during seed development. In conclusion, the systematic analysis of maize seed TFs has provided valuable insight into transcriptional regulation during maize seed development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Expressed Sequence Tags*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Library
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Zea mays / genetics*


  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant
  • Transcription Factors