Genome-Wide Identification, Characterization, and Expression Profiling of SPX Gene Family in Wheat
The SPX gene family is ubiquitous in all vascular plants, plays a critical role in plant development and growth as well as in response to phosphorus stress. Based on genomic census, 46 TaSPX genes were identified in the wheat genome. All of them are evenly distributed on 13 of the 21 wheat chromosomes and chromosome 7A contains the largest members. As many as 57 gene specific SSRs were discovered among genomic sequences of identified TaSPXs. MicroRNA target analysis revealed that TaSPX genes were targeted by 9 different miRNAs including tae-miR1120a, tae-miR1120b-3p, tae-miR1120c-5p, tae-miR1122b-3p, tae-miR1122c-3p, tae-miR1130a, tae-miR1130b-3p, tae-miR1137a, and tae-miR1137b-5p. Expression profiles derived from transcriptome data and real-time quantitative PCR revealed that TaSPX genes were significantly induced by Pi starvation. The modeled 3D structure of wheat SPX proteins shared high level of homology with template structures providing information to understand their functions at proteomic level. We have also refined the modeled 3D structures on 10nesc using molecular dynamics simulations for conformational stability. The discovered members of SPX gene family and their targeting miRNAs may provide resource for genetic improvement and promote P use efficiency in cereals.