Background: The bZIP gene family plays roles in biotic and abiotic stress, secondary metabolism, and other aspects in plants. They have been reported in Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Artemisia annua, and other plants, but their roles in Cannabis sativa have not been determined. Materials and Methods: In this study, we analyzed the genome-wide identification and expression profile of the bZIP gene family in C. sativa. Results: A total of 51 members of the bZIP gene family were identified based on the C. sativa genome and numbered in order from CsbZIP1 to CsbZIP51. Their phylogenetic relationships, cis-elements in promoter region, gene structures and motif compositions, physicochemical properties, chromosome locations, and expression profiles, were analyzed. The results showed that the 51 CsbZIPs were unevenly distributed on 10 chromosomes and could be clustered into 11 subfamilies. Furthermore, CsbZIPs located in the same subfamilies presented similar intron/exon organization and motif composition. The expression levels of CsbZIPs in various tissues (flowers, bracts, vegetative leaves, stems, and seeds) were determined using reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression levels of CsbZIPs were higher in flowers and bracts. The 51 CsbZIPs were explored, and their structure, evolution, and expression pattern in different tissues of C. sativa were characterized synthetically. The findings indicated that CsbZIPs are essential for the growth and development of C. sativa. Conclusions: These results provide a theoretical basis for subsequent research on hemp bZIP transcription factors and the cultivation of high-cannabidiol and low-tetrahydrocannabinol high-quality cannabis varieties.
Keywords: Cannabis sativa; CsbZIP; expression pattern; phylogenetic analysis.