Background: The glycogen synthase kinase 3/shaggy kinase (GSK3) is a serine/threonine kinase with important roles in animals. Although GSK3 genes have been studied for more than 30years, plant GSK genes have been studied only since the last decade. Previous research has confirmed that plant GSK genes are involved in diverse processes, including floral development, brassinosteroid signaling, and responses to abiotic stresses. Result: In this study, 20, 15 (including 5 different transcripts) and 10 GSK genes were identified in G. hirsutum, G. raimondii and G. arboreum, respectively. A total of 65 genes from Arabidopsis, rice, and cotton were classified into 4 clades. High similarities were found in GSK3 protein sequences, conserved motifs, and gene structures, as well as good concordance in gene pairwise comparisons (G. hirsutum vs. G. arboreum, G. hirsutum vs. G. raimondii, and G. arboreum vs. G. raimondii) were observed. Whole genome duplication (WGD) within At and Dt sub-genomes has been central to the expansion of the GSK gene family. Furthermore, GhSK genes showed diverse expression patterns in various tissues. Additionally, the expression profiles of GhSKs under different stress treatments demonstrated that many are stress-responsive genes. However, none were induced by brassinolide treatment. Finally, nine co-expression sub- networks were observed for GhSKs and the functional annotations of these genes suggested that some GhSKs might be involved in cotton fiber development. Conclusion: In this present work, we identified 45 GSK genes from three cotton species, which were divided into four clades. The gene features, muti-alignment, conversed motifs, and syntenic blocks indicate that they have been highly conserved during evolution. Whole genome duplication was determined to be the dominant factor for GSK gene family expansion. The analysis of co-expressed sub-networks and tissue-specific expression profiles suggested functions of GhSKs during fiber development. Moreover, their different responses to various abiotic stresses indicated great functional diversity amongst the GhSKs. Briefly, data presented herein may serve as the basis for future functional studies of GhSKs.
Journal: BMC plant biology