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      LEA (Late Embryogenesis Abundant) proteins and their encoding genes in Arabidopsis thaliana

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      BMC Genomics

      BioMed Central

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          Abstract

          Background

          LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) proteins have first been described about 25 years ago as accumulating late in plant seed development. They were later found in vegetative plant tissues following environmental stress and also in desiccation tolerant bacteria and invertebrates. Although they are widely assumed to play crucial roles in cellular dehydration tolerance, their physiological and biochemical functions are largely unknown.

          Results

          We present a genome-wide analysis of LEA proteins and their encoding genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. We identified 51 LEA protein encoding genes in the Arabidopsis genome that could be classified into nine distinct groups. Expression studies were performed on all genes at different developmental stages, in different plant organs and under different stress and hormone treatments using quantitative RT-PCR. We found evidence of expression for all 51 genes. There was only little overlap between genes expressed in vegetative tissues and in seeds and expression levels were generally higher in seeds. Most genes encoding LEA proteins had abscisic acid response (ABRE) and/or low temperature response (LTRE) elements in their promoters and many genes containing the respective promoter elements were induced by abscisic acid, cold or drought. We also found that 33% of all Arabidopsis LEA protein encoding genes are arranged in tandem repeats and that 43% are part of homeologous pairs. The majority of LEA proteins were predicted to be highly hydrophilic and natively unstructured, but some were predicted to be folded.

          Conclusion

          The analyses indicate a wide range of sequence diversity, intracellular localizations, and expression patterns. The high fraction of retained duplicate genes and the inferred functional diversification indicate that they confer an evolutionary advantage for an organism under varying stressful environmental conditions. This comprehensive analysis will be an important starting point for future efforts to elucidate the functional role of these enigmatic proteins.

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          Most cited references 120

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          Pfam: clans, web tools and services

          Pfam is a database of protein families that currently contains 7973 entries (release 18.0). A recent development in Pfam has enabled the grouping of related families into clans. Pfam clans are described in detail, together with the new associated web pages. Improvements to the range of Pfam web tools and the first set of Pfam web services that allow programmatic access to the database and associated tools are also presented. Pfam is available on the web in the UK (), the USA (), France () and Sweden ().
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            GENEVESTIGATOR. Arabidopsis microarray database and analysis toolbox.

            High-throughput gene expression analysis has become a frequent and powerful research tool in biology. At present, however, few software applications have been developed for biologists to query large microarray gene expression databases using a Web-browser interface. We present GENEVESTIGATOR, a database and Web-browser data mining interface for Affymetrix GeneChip data. Users can query the database to retrieve the expression patterns of individual genes throughout chosen environmental conditions, growth stages, or organs. Reversely, mining tools allow users to identify genes specifically expressed during selected stresses, growth stages, or in particular organs. Using GENEVESTIGATOR, the gene expression profiles of more than 22,000 Arabidopsis genes can be obtained, including those of 10,600 currently uncharacterized genes. The objective of this software application is to direct gene functional discovery and design of new experiments by providing plant biologists with contextual information on the expression of genes. The database and analysis toolbox is available as a community resource at https://www.genevestigator.ethz.ch.
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              Drought and Salt Tolerance in Plants

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                BMC Genomics
                BMC Genomics
                BioMed Central
                1471-2164
                2008
                4 March 2008
                : 9
                : 118
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Max-Planck-Institut für Molekulare Pflanzenphysiologie, Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
                Article
                1471-2164-9-118
                10.1186/1471-2164-9-118
                2292704
                18318901
                Copyright © 2008 Hundertmark and Hincha; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research Article

                Genetics

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