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      Genome-Wide Analysis of LIM Family Genes in Foxtail Millet ( Setaria italica L.) and Characterization of the Role of SiWLIM2b in Drought Tolerance

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          LIM proteins have been found to play important roles in many life activities, including the regulation of gene expression, construction of the cytoskeleton, signal transduction and metabolic regulation. Because of their important roles in many aspects of plant development, LIM genes have been studied in many plant species. However, the LIM gene family has not yet been characterized in foxtail millet. In this study, we analyzed the whole genome of foxtail millet and identified 10 LIM genes. All LIM gene promoters contain MYB and MYC cis-acting elements that are related to drought stress. Based on the presence of multiple abiotic stress-related cis-elements in the promoter of SiWLIM2b, we chose this gene for further study. We analyzed SiWLIM2b expression under abiotic stress and hormone treatments using qRT-PCR. We found that SiWLIM2b was induced by various abiotic stresses and hormones. Under drought conditions, transgenic rice of SiWLIM2b-overexpression had a higher survival rate, higher relative water content and less cell damage than wild type (WT) rice. These results indicate that overexpression of the foxtail millet SiWLIM2b gene enhances drought tolerance in transgenic rice, and the SiWLIM2b gene can potentially be used for molecular breeding of crops with increased resistance to abiotic stress.

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          Most cited references 61

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            The LIM domain: from the cytoskeleton to the nucleus.

            First described 15 years ago as a cysteine-rich sequence that was common to a small group of homeodomain transcription factors, the LIM domain is now recognized as a tandem zinc-finger structure that functions as a modular protein-binding interface. LIM domains are present in many proteins that have diverse cellular roles as regulators of gene expression, cytoarchitecture, cell adhesion, cell motility and signal transduction. An emerging theme is that LIM proteins might function as biosensors that mediate communication between the cytosolic and the nuclear compartments.
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              General mechanisms of drought response and their application in drought resistance improvement in plants.

              Plants often encounter unfavorable environmental conditions because of their sessile lifestyle. These adverse factors greatly affect the geographic distribution of plants, as well as their growth and productivity. Drought stress is one of the premier limitations to global agricultural production due to the complexity of the water-limiting environment and changing climate. Plants have evolved a series of mechanisms at the morphological, physiological, biochemical, cellular, and molecular levels to overcome water deficit or drought stress conditions. The drought resistance of plants can be divided into four basic types-drought avoidance, drought tolerance, drought escape, and drought recovery. Various drought-related traits, including root traits, leaf traits, osmotic adjustment capabilities, water potential, ABA content, and stability of the cell membrane, have been used as indicators to evaluate the drought resistance of plants. In the last decade, scientists have investigated the genetic and molecular mechanisms of drought resistance to enhance the drought resistance of various crops, and significant progress has been made with regard to drought avoidance and drought tolerance. With increasing knowledge to comprehensively decipher the complicated mechanisms of drought resistance in model plants, it still remains an enormous challenge to develop water-saving and drought-resistant crops to cope with the water shortage and increasing demand for food production in the future.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                15 March 2019
                March 2019
                : 20
                : 6
                [1 ]State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas, College of Life Sciences, College of Agronomy, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China; Yangr1213@ 123456126.com (R.Y.); yuyue5911@ 123456163.com (Y.Y.); mdh2493@ 123456126.com (D.-H.M.)
                [2 ]Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)/National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Triticeae Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China; chenming02@ 123456caas.cn (M.C.); chenjun@ 123456caas.cn (J.C.); xuzhaoshi@ 123456caas.cn (Z.-S.X.); zhouyongbin@ 123456caas.cn (Y.-B.Z.)
                [3 ]Institute of Crop Research, Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Yongning 750105, China; nxsjch@ 123456163.com
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: mayouzhi@ 123456caas.cn (Y.-Z.M.); zhxh2493@ 123456126.com (X.-H.Z.); Tel.: +86-010-8210-8750 (Y.-Z.M.)

                These authors contributed equally to this work.

                © 2019 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


                Molecular biology

                genome-wide analysis, drought tolerance, foxtail millet, lim genes, transgenic rice


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