Genome-wide identification of ZmSnRK2 genes and functional analysis of ZmSnRK2.10 in ABA signaling pathway in maize (Zea mays L).
IF: 5.260
Cited by: 6


Phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is involved in the regulation of a wide range of biological processes. In Arabidopsis, it has been well-known that SnRK2s are the central components of the ABA signaling pathway that control the balance between plant growth and stress response, but the functions of ZmSnRK2 in maize are rarely reported. Therefore, the study of ZmSnRK2 is of great importance to understand the ABA signaling pathways in maize. In this study, 14 ZmSnRK2 genes were identified in the latest version of maize genome database. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that ZmSnRK2s are divided into three subclasses based on their diversity of C-terminal domains. The exon-intron structures, phylogenetic, synteny and collinearity analysis indicated that SnRK2s, especially the subclass III of SnRK2, are evolutionally conserved in maize, rice and Arabidopsis. Subcellular localization showed that ZmSnRK2 proteins are localized in the nucleus and cytoplasm. The RNA-Seq datasets and qRT-PCR analysis showed that ZmSnRK2 genes exhibit spatial and temporal expression patterns during the growth and development of different maize tissues, and the transcript levels of some ZmSnRK2 genes in kernel are significantly induced by ABA and sucrose treatment. In addition, we found that ZmSnRK2.10, which belongs to subclass III, is highly expressed in kernel and activated by ABA. Overexpression of ZmSnRK2.10 partially rescued the ABA-insensitive phenotype of snrk2.2/2.3 double and snrk2.2/2.3/2.6 triple mutants and led to delaying plant flowering in Arabidopsis. The SnRK2 gene family exhibits a high evolutionary conservation and has expanded with whole-genome duplication events in plants. The ZmSnRK2s expanded in maize with whole-genome and segmental duplication, not tandem duplication. The expression pattern analysis of ZmSnRK2s in maize offers important information to study their functions. Study of the functions of ZmSnRK.10 in Arabidopsis suggests that the ABA-dependent members of SnRK2s are evolutionarily conserved in plants. Our study elucidated the structure and evolution of SnRK2 genes in plants and provided a basis for the functional study of ZmSnRK2s protein in maize.


Expression pattern
Function analysis
SnRK2 family

MeSH terms

Abscisic Acid
Base Sequence
Cell Nucleus
Chromosomes, Plant
Evolution, Molecular
Gene Duplication
Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
Genes, Plant
Signal Transduction
Subcellular Fractions
Zea mays


Long, Tiandan
Xu, Binjie
Hu, Yufeng
Wang, Yayun
Mao, Changqing
Wang, Yongbin
Zhang, Junjie
Liu, Hanmei
Huang, Huanhuan
Liu, Yinghong
Yu, Guowu
Zhao, Chunzhao
Li, Yangping
Huang, Yubi

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