Identification and expression of C2H2 transcription factor genes in Carica papaya under abiotic and biotic stresses

Mol Biol Rep. 2012 Jun;39(6):7105-15. doi: 10.1007/s11033-012-1542-y. Epub 2012 Apr 8.


C2H2 proteins belong to a group of transcription factors (TFs) existing as a superfamily that plays important roles in defense responses and various other physiological processes in plants. The present study aimed to screen for and identify C2H2 proteins associated with defense responses to abiotic and biotic stresses in Carica papaya L. Data were collected for 47,483 papaya-expressed sequence tags (ESTs). The full-length cDNA nucleotide sequences of 87 C2H2 proteins were predicated by BioEdit. All 91 C2H2 proteins were aligned, and a phylogenetic tree was constructed using DNAman. The expression levels of 42 C2H2 were analyzed under conditions of salt stress by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Methyl jasmonate treatment rapidly upregulated ZF(23.4) and ZF(30,912.1) by 18.6- and 21.7-fold, respectively. ZF(1.3), ZF(138.44), ZF(94.49), ZF(29.160), and ZF(20.206) were found to be downregulated after low temperature treatment at very significant levels (p < 0.01). ZF(23.4), ZF(161.1), and ZF(30,912.1) were upregulated while ZF1.3, ZF(158.1), ZF(249.5), ZF(138.44), ZF(94.49), ZF(29.160), and ZF(20.206) were significantly downregulated by Spermine treatment. ZF(23.4) was upregulated while ZF(1.3), ZF(249.5), ZF(94.94), ZF(29.160), ZF(138.44), and ZF(20.206) were significantly repressed after SA treatment. ZF(23.4) and ZF(30,912.1) were significantly upregulated after sap inoculation with papaya ringspot virus pathogen. ZF(30,912.1) was subcellularly localized in the nucleus by a transgenic fusion of pBS-ZF(30,912.1)-GFP into the protoplast of papaya. The results of the present study showed that ZF(30,912.1) could be an important TF that mediates responses to abiotic and biotic stresses in papaya.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / pharmacology
  • Carica / cytology
  • Carica / genetics*
  • Carica / physiology
  • Carica / virology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cold Temperature
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oxylipins / pharmacology
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Leaves / virology
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Potyvirus / physiology
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Salicylic Acid / pharmacology
  • Salt Tolerance / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Spermine / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Transcription Factors / chemistry
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Zinc Fingers


  • Acetates
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Oxylipins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Spermine
  • methyl jasmonate
  • Salicylic Acid