Genome-wide analysis of homeobox gene family in legumes: identification, gene duplication and expression profiling.PLoS One. 2015; 10(3):e0119198.Plos
Homeobox genes encode transcription factors that are known to play a major role in different aspects of plant growth and development. In the present study, we identified homeobox genes belonging to 14 different classes in five legume species, including chickpea, soybean, Medicago, Lotus and pigeonpea. The characteristic differences within homeodomain sequences among various classes of homeobox gene family were quite evident. Genome-wide expression analysis using publicly available datasets (RNA-seq and microarray) indicated that homeobox genes are differentially expressed in various tissues/developmental stages and under stress conditions in different legumes. We validated the differential expression of selected chickpea homeobox genes via quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Genome duplication analysis in soybean indicated that segmental duplication has significantly contributed in the expansion of homeobox gene family. The Ka/Ks ratio of duplicated homeobox genes in soybean showed that several members of this family have undergone purifying selection. Moreover, expression profiling indicated that duplicated genes might have been retained due to sub-functionalization. The genome-wide identification and comprehensive gene expression profiling of homeobox gene family members in legumes will provide opportunities for functional analysis to unravel their exact role in plant growth and development.