Genome-wide identification and transcriptional profiling of small heat shock protein gene family under diverse abiotic stress conditions in Sorghum bicolor (L.)
The small heat shock proteins (sHsps/Hsp20s) are the molecular chaperones that maintain proper folding, trafficking and disaggregation of proteins under diverse abiotic stress conditions. In the present investigation, a genome-wide scan revealed the presence of a total of 47 sHsps in Sorghum bicolor (SbsHsps), distributed across 10 subfamilies, the major subfamily being P (plastid) group with 17 genes. Chromosomes 1 and 3 appear as the hot spot regions for SbsHsps, and majority of them were found acidic, hydrophilic, unstable and intron less. Interestingly, promoter analysis indicated that they are associated with both biotic and abiotic stresses, as well as plant development. Sorghum sHsps exhibited 15 paralogous and 20 orthologous duplications. Expression analysis of 15 genes selected from different subfamilies showed high transcript levels in roots and leaves implying that they are likely to participate in the developmental processes. SbsHsp genes were highly induced by diverse abiotic stresses inferring their critical role in mediating the environmental stress responses. Gene expression data revealed that SbsHsp-02 is a candidate gene expressed in all the tissues under varied stress conditions tested. Our results contribute to the understanding of the complexity of SbsHsp genes and help to analyse them further for functional validation.