The basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor family is one of the largest and most diverse transcriptional regulators among eukaryotic organisms. Studies have demonstrated that bZIP transcription factors were involved in diverse physiological processes in plant growth and development. Limited is known about the holistic profiles of structural and functional annotation in bZIP genes in Castor bean (Ricinus communisL., Euphorbiaceae), one of the most important non-edible oilseed crops and whose seed oil is broadly used in industry.
The recent completion of the castor bean genome provides a great opportunity to identify and characterize the holistic profile of the bZIP transcription factor family in castor bean, which could provide useful information in understanding the molecular mechanism of the bZIP genes that underlies the regulation of growth and development in castor bean. Prof. LIU Aizhong of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) and his team identified and characterized bZIP transcription factors based on the complete genome sequences of castor bean. By using high-throughput sequencing for digital gene expression tag profiling (DGE), the researchers examined global expression profiles of the castor bean bZIP genes among different tissues.
.In total, 49 putative bZIP transcription factors were identified in castor bean. Further, the 49 bZIP transcription factors were characterized according to the conserved amino acid residues within bZIP domain, the conserved motifs and gene organization in structure, phylogenetical analysis, and global expression profiles among different tissues using high-throughput sequencing.
Results obtained from the study provided holistic information in understanding the molecular basis of the bZIP gene family in castor bean and other plants in the family Euphorbiaceae as well.