Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of bZIP Transcription Factors under Abiotic Stress in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.)

Version 1 : Received: 8 February 2022 / Approved: 23 February 2022 / Online: 23 February 2022 (13:40:34 CET)

How to cite: Parajuli, A.; Sanguinet, K.; Zhang, Z. Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of bZIP Transcription Factors under Abiotic Stress in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Preprints 2022, 2022020295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202202.0295.v1). Parajuli, A.; Sanguinet, K.; Zhang, Z. Genome-Wide Identification and Expression Analysis of bZIP Transcription Factors under Abiotic Stress in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Preprints 2022, 2022020295 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202202.0295.v1).

Abstract

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is the most cultivated forage legume around the world. Under a variety of growing conditions, forage yield in alfalfa is stymied by biotic and abiotic stresses including heat, salt, drought, and disease. Given the sessile nature of plants, they use strategies such as differential gene expression to respond to environmental cues. Transcription factors control the expression of genes that contribute to or enable tolerance and survival during periods of stress. Basic-leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors have been demonstrated to play a critical role in regulating plant growth and development as well as mediate the responses to abiotic stress in several species, including Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Lotus japonicus and Medicago truncatula. However, there is little information about bZIP transcription factors in cultivated alfalfa. In the present study, 237 bZIP genes were identified in alfalfa from publicly available sequencing data. Multiple sequence alignments showed the presence of intact bZIP motifs in the identified sequences. Based on previous phylogenetic analyses in Arabidopsis thaliana, alfalfa bZIPs were similarly divided and fell into 10 groups. The physico-chemical properties, motif analysis and phylogenetic study of the alfalfa bZIPs revealed high specificity within groups. The differential expression of alfalfa bZIPs in a suite of tissues indicates that particular bZIP genes are specifically expressed at different developmental stages in alfalfa. Similarly, expression analysis in response to ABA, cold, drought and salt stresses, indicates that a subset of bZIP genes are also differentially expressed and likely play a role in abiotic stress signaling and/or tolerance. However, further functional characterization of bZIP transcription factors in alfalfa will help illuminate the role they play in stress tolerance mechanisms in legumes and facilitate the molecular breeding of stress tolerance in alfalfa.

Keywords

Alfalfa; bZIP transcription factor; phylogenetic analysis; expression pattern; abiotic stress

Subject

BIOLOGY, Plant Sciences

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