• DEFANG GAN

      Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Identification and expression analysis of primary auxin-responsive Aux/IAA gene family in cucumber (Cucumis sativus)

      Defang Gan Dan Zhuang Fei Ding Zhenzhou Yu Yang Zhao

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      Aux/IAA is an important gene family involved in many aspects of growth and development. Aux/IAA proteins are short-lived nuclear proteins that are induced primarily by various phytohormones. In this study, 29 Aux/IAA family genes (CsIAA01–CsIAA29) were identified and characterized in cucumber, including gene structures, phylogenetic relationships, conserved protein motifs and chromosomal locations. These genes show distinct organizational patterns of their putative motifs. The distributions of the genes vary: except for five CsIAA genes in cucumber that were not located, seven CsIAA genes were found on scaffold, while the other 17 CsIAA genes were distributed on seven other chromosomes. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of the Aux/IAA protein sequences from cucumber, Arabidopsis and other plants, the Aux/IAA genes in cucumber were categorized into seven subfamilies. To investigate whether the expression of CsIAA genes is associated with auxin induction, their transcript levels were monitored in seedlings treated with IAA (indole-3-acetic acid), and their expression patterns were analysed by semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The results showed that 11/29 CsIAA genes were expressed in leaves whether treated with IAA or not and the time course of processing and compared with the control, five CsIAA genes showed low expression only after 60 min treatment with IAA, while 11 genes showed no expression. These results provide useful information for further functional analysis of Aux/IAA gene family in cucumber.

    • Application of RNA interference methodology to investigate and develop SCMV resistance in maize

      Defang Gan Fei Ding Dan Zhuang Haiyang Jiang Tong Jiang Suwen Zhu Beijiu Cheng

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      Specific fragments of the sugarcane mosaic virus (SCMV) coat protein gene (cp) were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and used to construct a marker free small interfering RNA complex expression vector against SCMV. In planta transformation was performed on maize (Zea mays) inbred line 8112 mediated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. PCR and Southern blot analyses demonstrated successful integration of the cp segment into the 8112 genome. The in planta transformation frequency was 0.1%, and the cotransformed frequency with the cp and bar genes was 0.034%. Realtime quantitative PCR of samples from different transgenic plant organs showed that the expression of the cp gene fragment in transgenic plants was variable and that the highest expression level occurred in the tassels and leaves and the lowest expression occurred in the roots. Real-time quantitative PCR was also used to measure how gene expression in transgenic T2 generation plants inoculated with SCMV changes over time. The results showed that the hairpin RNA structure transcribed from the cp gene interfered with SCMV infection and transgenic maize lines were not equally effective in preventing SCMV infection. Our findings provide a valuable tool for controlling plant viruses using RNA interference and the posttranslational gene silencing approach.

    • Identification and characterization of the RCI2 gene family in maize (Zea mays)

      Yang Zhao Haiqing Tong Ronghao Cai Xiaojian Peng Xiaoyu Li Defang Gan Suwen Zhu

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      Rare-cold-inducible (RCI2) genes are structurally conserved members that encode small, highly hydrophobic proteins involved in response to various abiotic stresses. Phylogenetic and functional analyses of these genes have been conducted in Arabidopsis, but an extensive investigation of the RCI2 gene family has not yet been carried out in maize. In the present study, 10 RCI2 genes were identified in a fully sequenced maize genome. Structural characterization and expression pattern analysis of 10 ZmRCI2s (Zea mays RCI2 genes) were subsequently determined. Sequence and phylogenetic analyses indicated that ZmRCI2s are highly conserved, and most of them could be grouped with their orthologues from other organisms. Chromosomal location analysis indicated that ZmRCI2s were distributed unevenly on seven chromosomes with two segmental duplication events, suggesting that maize RCI2 gene family is an evolutionarily conserved family. Putative stress-responsive cis-elements were detected in the 2-kb promoter regions of the 10 ZmRCI2s. In addition, the 10 ZmRCI2s showed different expression patterns in maize development based on transcriptome analysis. Further, microarray and quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) analysis showed that each maize RCI2 genes were responsive to drought stress, suggesting their important roles in drought stress response. The results of this work provide a basis for future cloning and application studies of maize RCI2 genes.

    • Expression analysis of argonaute, Dicer-like, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase genes in cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) in response to abiotic stress

      DEFANG GAN MENGDAN ZHAN FENG YANG QIQI ZHANG KELING HU WENJUAN XU QINGHUI LU LING ZHANG DANDI LIANG

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      Posttranscriptional control of gene expression can be achieved through RNA interference when the activities of Dicer-like (DCL), argonaute (AGO) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RDR) proteins are significant. In this study, we analysed the expression of seven AGO, five DCL and eight RDR genes in cucumber under cold, heat, hormone, salinity and dehydration treatments using quantitative reverse-transcription PCR (qRT-PCR). All CsAGO, CsDCL and CsRDR genes were differentially expressed under abiotic stress treatment. In response to abiotic stress treatment, most genes were expressed at higher levels in flowers or stems than in other organs, whereas some CsAGOs (CsAGO1c, CsAGO6 and CsAGO7) and CsRDRs (CsRDR1d andCsRDR2) were highly expressed in roots during dehydration treatment. The expression patterns indicate that most CsDCLs, CsAGOs and CsRDRs respond to abiotic stress, and stems or flowers are the most sensitive organs, followed by roots. This is the first report of expression analysis of all CsDCL, CsAGO and CsRDR family genes in cucumber under abiotic stress, whichprovides basic information and insights into the putative roles of these genes in abiotic stress. The results of this study should serve as a basis for further functional characterization of these gene families in cucumber and related Cucurbitaceae species.

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