Comprehensive molecular dissection of TIFY Transcription factors

The plant specific TIFY (previously known as ZIM) transcription factor (TF) family plays crucial roles in cross talk between Jasmonic Acid and other phytohormones like gibberellins, salicylic acid, abscisic acid, auxin, and ethylene signaling pathways. Wheat yield is severely affected by rust diseases and many abiotic stresses, where different phytohormone signaling pathways are involved. TIFYs have been studied in many plants yet reports describing their molecular structure and function in wheat are lacking. In the present study, we have identified 23 novel TIFY genes in wheat genome using in silico approaches. The identified proteins were characterized based on their conserved domains and phylogenetically classified into nine subfamilies. Chromosomal localization of the identifiedTIFY genes showed arbitrary distribution. Forty cis-acting elements including phytohormone, stress and light receptive elements were detected in the upstream regions of TIFY genes. Seventeen wheat microRNAs targeted the identified wheat TIFY genes. Gene ontological studies revealed their major contribution in defense response and phytohormone signaling.

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FIG: Conserved domain identified in TaTIFY proteins.

Secondary structure of TIFY proteins displayed the characteristic alpha–alpha–beta fold. Synteny analyses indicated all wheat TIFY genes had orthologous sequences in sorghum, rice, maize, barley and Brachypodium indicating presence of similar TIFY domains in monocot plants. Six TIFY genes had been cloned from wheat genomic and cDNA. Sequence characterization revealed similar characteristics as the in silico identified novel TIFY genes. Tertiary structures predicted the active sites in these proteins to play critical roles in DNA binding. Expression profiling of TIFY genes showed their contribution during incompatible and compatible leaf rust infestation. TIFY genes were also highly expressed during the initial hours of phytohormone induced stress. This study furnishes fundamental information on characterization and putative functions of TIFY genes in wheat.

Singh, P., Mukhopadhyay, K. Comprehensive molecular dissection of TIFY Transcription factors reveal their dynamic responses to biotic and abiotic stress in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Sci Rep 11, 9739 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-87722-w

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