J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2014, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (2): 133-150.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12127

• Molecular Ecology and Evolution • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Small auxin upregulated RNA (SAUR) gene family in maize: Identification, evolution, and its phylogenetic comparison with Arabidopsis, rice, and sorghum

Yuzhu Chen1†, Xi Hao2† and Jun Cao1*   

  1. 1Institute of Life Science, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, China
    2Industrial Crop Institute, Henan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Zhengzhou, China
  • Received:2013-05-02 Accepted:2013-11-01 Published:2014-01-29
  • About author:These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: E-mail: cjinfor@163.com


Small auxin-up RNAs (SAURs) are the early auxin-responsive genes represented by a large multigene family in plants. Here, we identified 79 SAUR gene family members from maize (Zea mays subsp. mays) by a reiterative database search and manual annotation. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the SAUR proteins from Arabidopsis, rice, sorghum, and maize had divided into 16 groups. These genes were non-randomly distributed across the maize chromosomes, and segmental duplication and tandem duplication contributed to the expansion of the maize SAUR gene family. Synteny analysis established orthology relationships and functional linkages between SAUR genes in maize and sorghum genomes. We also found that the auxin-responsive elements were conserved in the upstream sequences of maize SAUR members. Selection analyses identified some significant site-specific constraints acted on most SAUR paralogs. Expression profiles based on microarray data have provided insights into the possible functional divergence among members of the SAUR gene family. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that some of the 10 randomly selected ZmSAUR genes could be induced at least in maize shoot or root tissue tested. The results reveal a comprehensive overview of the maize SAUR gene family and may pave the way for deciphering their function during plant development.

Chen Y, Hao X, Cao J (2014) Small auxin up‐regulated RNA (SAUR) gene family in maize: Identification, evolution, and its phylogenetic comparison with Arabidopsis, rice and sorghum. J Integr Plant Biol 56: 133–150. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12127

Key words: Evolution, expression, maize, small auxin-up RNA

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