Genome-wide analysis of AP2/ERF transcription factors family in Brassica napus

Physiol Mol Biol Plants. 2020 Jul;26(7):1463-1476. doi: 10.1007/s12298-020-00832-z. Epub 2020 Jun 16.


The AP2/ERF transcription factor family plays an important role in different biological processes such as growth, development and response to abiotic and biotic stresses in plants. The genome-wide analysis identified 531 AP2/ERF genes in Brassica napus (oilseed rape or canola) that ranged from 333 to 6440 bp in genomic and 273-2493 bp in coding DNA sequence length. We classified BnAP2/ERF proteins into five subfamilies including AP2 (58 genes), ERF (250 genes), DREB/CBF (194 genes), RAV (26 genes), and Soloist (3 genes). Furthermore, AP2/ERF proteins were subdivided into 15 groups according to the AP2/ERF classification in Arabidopsis. The number of exons in BnAP2/ERF genes was from one to eleven and most of these genes in the same subfamily had the same exon-intron pattern. The results also indicated that the composition of conserved motifs in most proteins in each group was similar. The intron-exon patterns and the composition of conserved motifs validated the BnAP2/ERF transcription factors phylogenetic classification. Based on the results of genome distribution, BnAP2/ERF genes were located unevenly on the 19 B. napus chromosomes. The results indicated that gene duplication may play an important role in genome expansion of B. napus. Furthermore, genome evolution of B. napus using orthologous and paralogous identification was studied. We found 278, 380 and 366 orthologous gene pairs between B. napus with A. thaliana, B. rapa and B. oleracea, respectively. The results of this study will be useful in investigation of functional role and molecular mechanisms of BnAP2/ERF transcription factors genes in response to different stresses.

Keywords: Canola; Chromosomal gene distribution; Conserved motifs orthologous genes; Paralogous genes.