Transcript profiling of Polycomb gene family in Oryza sativa indicates their abiotic stress-specific response

Funct Integr Genomics. 2022 Dec;22(6):1211-1227. doi: 10.1007/s10142-022-00906-z. Epub 2022 Oct 5.


The precise regulation of gene expression is required for the determination of cell fate, differentiation, and developmental programs in eukaryotes. The Polycomb Group (PcG) genes are the key transcriptional regulators that constitute the repressive system, with two major protein complexes, Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 (PRC1) and Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 (PRC2). Previous studies have demonstrated the significance of these proteins in regulation of normal growth and development processes. However, the role of PcG in adaptation of crops to abiotic stress is still not well understood. The present study aimed to a comprehensive genome-wide identification of the PcG gene family in one of the economically important staple crops, Oryza sativa. Here, a total of 14 PcG genes have been identified, which were distributed over eight chromosomes. Protein structure analysis revealed that both the complexes have distinct domain and motifs that are conserved within the complexes. In silico promoter analysis showed that PcG gene promoters have abundance of abiotic stress-responsive elements. RNA-seq based expression analysis revealed that PcG genes are differentially expressed in different tissues and responded variably in different environmental stress. Validation of gene expression by qRT-PCR showed that most of the genes were upregulated at 1-h time point in shoot tissue and at 24-h time point in root tissue under the drought and salinity stress conditions. These findings provide important and extensive information on the PcG family of O. sativa, which will pave the path for understanding their role in stress signaling in plants.

Keywords: Abiotic stress; Epigenetics; Genome-wide; Oryza sativa; Polycomb gene.

MeSH terms

  • Drosophila Proteins* / genetics
  • Oryza* / genetics
  • Oryza* / metabolism
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / genetics
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 / metabolism
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / genetics
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / metabolism
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics


  • Polycomb-Group Proteins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Polycomb Repressive Complex 2