Identification and stress function verification of the HAK/KUP/KT family in Gossypium hirsutum

Gene. 2022 Apr 15;818:146249. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2022.146249. Epub 2022 Jan 24.


The potassium transporter family HAK/KUP/KT is a large group of proteins that are important in plant potassium transport and play a crucial role in plant growth and development. The members of the family play an important role in the response of plants to abiotic stress by maintaining osmotic balance. However, the function of the family in cotton is unclear. In this study, whole genome identification and characterization of the HAK/KUP/KT family from upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) were carried out. Bioinformatics methods were used to identify HAK/KUP/KT family members from the G. hirsutum genome and to analyse the physical and chemical properties, basic characteristics, phylogeny, chromosome location and expression of HAK/KUP/KT family members. A total of 41 HAK/KUP/KT family members were identified in the G. hirsutum genome. Phylogenetic analysis grouped these genes into four clusters (I, II, III, IV), containing 6, 10, 3 and 22 genes, respectively. Chromosomal distribution, gene structure and conserved motif analyses of the 41 GhHAK genes were subsequently performed. The RNA-seq data and qRT-PCR results showed that the family had a wide range of tissue expression patterns, and they responded to certain drought stresses. Through expression analysis, seven HAK/KUP/KT genes involved in drought stress were screened, and four genes with obvious phenotypes under drought stress were obtained by VIGS verification, which laid a theoretical foundation for the function of the cotton HAK/KUP/KT family.

Keywords: Expression pattern analysis; G. hirsutum; HAK/KUP/KT family; Phylogenetic analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Biomass
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Droughts
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Gossypium / genetics*
  • Gossypium / physiology*
  • Multigene Family*
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Leaves / physiology
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Plant Viruses / physiology
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics*


  • Plant Proteins