Genome-wide identification and in-silico expression analysis of CCO gene family in sunflower (Helianthus annnus) against abiotic stress


Plant Mol Biol. 2024 Apr 3;114(2):34. doi: 10.1007/s11103-024-01433-0.


Carotenoid cleavage oxygenases (CCOs) enzymes play an important role in plant growth and development by producing a wide array of apocarotenoids and their derivatives. These compounds are vital for colouring flowers and fruits and synthesizing plant hormones such as abscisic acid and strigolactones. Despite their importance, the gene family responsible for CCO enzymes in sunflowers has not been identified. In this study, we identify the CCO genes of the sunflower plant to fill this knowledge gap. Phylogenetic and synteny analysis indicated that the Helianthus annnus CCO (HaCCO) genes were conserved in different plant species and they could be divided into three subgroups based on their conserved domains. Analysis using MEME tool and multiple sequence alignment identified conserved motifs in the HaCCO gene sequence. Cis-regulatory elements (CREs) analysis of the HaCCO genes indicated the presence of various responsive elements related to plant hormones, development, and responses to both biotic and abiotic stresses. This implies that these genes may respond to plant hormones, developmental cues, and drought stress, offering potential applications in the development of more resistant crops. Genes belonging to the 9-cis-epoxy carotenoid dioxygenases (NCED) subgroups predominantly exhibited chloroplast localization, whereas the genes found in other groups are primarily localized in the cytoplasm. These 21 identified HaCCOs were regulated by 60 miRNAs, indicating the crucial role of microRNAs in gene regulation in sunflowers. Gene expression analysis under drought stress revealed significant up-regulation of HaNCED16 and HaNCED19, genes that are pivotal in ABA hormone biosynthesis. During organ-specific gene expression analysis, HaCCD12 and HaCCD20 genes exhibit higher activity in leaves, indicating a potential role in leaf pigmentation. This study provides a foundation for future research on the regulation and functions of the CCO gene family in sunflower and beyond. There is potential for developing molecular markers that could be employed in breeding programs to create new sunflower lines resistant to biotic and abiotic stresses.

PMID:38568355 | DOI:10.1007/s11103-024-01433-0