Genome-wide identification and characterization of greenbug-inducible NAC transcription factors in sorghum.

Zhang H, Huang Y

Published: 25 January 2024 in Molecular biology reports
Keywords: Aphid, Genomics, NAC, Plant resistance, Sorghum, Transcription factors
Pubmed ID: 38270755
DOI: 10.1007/s11033-023-09158-x

BACKGROUND: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) is an important cereal crop grown worldwide because of its multipurpose uses such as food, forage, and bioenergy feedstock and its wide range of adaption even in marginal environments. Greenbug can cause severe damage to sorghum plants and yield loss. Plant NAC transcription factors (TFs) have been reported to have diverse functions in plant development and plant defense but has not been studied in sorghum yet.METHODS AND RESULTS: In this study, a comprehensive analysis of the sorghum NAC (SbNAC) gene family was conducted through genome-wide analysis. A total of 112 NAC genes has been identified in the sorghum genome. These SbNAC genes are phylogenetically clustered into 15 distinct subfamilies and unevenly distribute in clusters at the telomeric ends of each chromosome. Twelve pairs of SbNAC genes are possibly involved in the segmental duplication among nine chromosomes except chromosome 10. Structure analysis showed the diverse structures with a highly variable number of exons in the SbNAC genes. Furthermore, most of the SbNAC genes showed specific temporal and spatial expression patterns according to the results of RNA-seq analysis, suggesting their diverse functions during sorghum growth and development. We have also identified nine greenbug-inducible SbNAC genes by comparing the expression profiles between two sorghum genotypes (susceptible BTx623 and resistant PI607900) in response to greenbug infestation.CONCLUSIONS: Our systematic analysis of the NAC gene expression profiles provides both a preliminary survey into their roles in plant defense against insect pests and a useful reference for in-depth characterization of the SbNAC genes and the regulatory network that contributes genetic resistance to aphids.

USDA-ARS - CRIS project 3072-21000-009-00D