Genome-wide identification and expression profiling of DNA methyltransferase gene family in maize.
IF: 4.964
Cited by: 24


In this study, we identified eight DNA MTase genes in maize and the diversity of expression patterns of them was presented by EST mining, microarray and semi-quantitative expression profile analyses. DNA methylation plays a pivotal role in promoting genomic stability through diverse biological processes including regulation of gene expression during development and chromatin organization. Although this important biological process is mainly regulated by several conserved Cytosine-5 DNA methyltransferases encoded by a smaller multigene family in plants, investigation of the plant C5-MTase-encoding gene family will serve to elucidate the epigenetic mechanism diversity in plants. Recently, genome-wide identification and evolutionary analyses of the C5-MTase-encoding gene family have been characterized in multiple plant species including Arabidopsis, rice, carrot and wheat. However, little is known regarding the C5-MTase-encoding genes in the entire maize genome. Here, genome-wide identification and expression profile analyses of maize C5-MTase-encoding genes (ZmMETs) were performed from the latest version of the maize (B73) genome. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the orthologs from the three species (maize, Arabidopsis and rice) were categorized into four classes. Chromosomal location of these genes revealed that they are unevenly distributed on 6 of all 10 chromosomes with three chromosomal/segmental duplication events, suggesting that gene duplication played a key role in expansion of the maize C5-MTase-encoding gene family. Furthermore, EST expression data mining, microarray data and semi-quantitative expression profile analyses detected in the leaves by two different abiotic stress treatments have demonstrated that these genes had temporal and spatial expression pattern and exhibited different expression levels in stress treatments, suggesting that functional diversification of ZmMET genes family. Overall, our study will serve to present signification insights to explore the plant C5-MTase-encoding gene expression and function and also be beneficial for future experimental research to further unravel the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in plants.

MeSH terms

DNA Modification Methylases
Epigenesis, Genetic
Gene Expression Profiling
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Plant Proteins
Zea mays


Qian, Yexiong
Xi, Yilong
Cheng, Beijiu
Zhu, Suwen

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