Plant GATA Factors: Their Biology, Phylogeny, and Phylogenomics

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2022 May 20;73:123-148. doi: 10.1146/annurev-arplant-072221-092913. Epub 2022 Feb 7.


GATA factors are evolutionarily conserved transcription factors that are found in animals, fungi, and plants. Compared to that of animals, the size of the plant GATA family is increased. In angiosperms, four main GATA classes and seven structural subfamilies can be defined. In recent years, knowledge about the biological role and regulation of plant GATAs has substantially improved. Individual family members have been implicated in the regulation of photomorphogenic growth, chlorophyll biosynthesis, chloroplast development, photosynthesis, and stomata formation, as well as root, leaf, and flower development. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of plant GATA factors. Using phylogenomic analysis, we trace the evolutionary origin of the GATA classes in the green lineage and examine their relationship to animal and fungal GATAs. Finally, we speculate about a possible conservation of GATA-regulated functions across the animal, fungal, and plant kingdoms.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; GATA factors; evolution; phylogenomics; rice.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • GATA Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • GATA Transcription Factors* / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors*


  • GATA Transcription Factors
  • Transcription Factors