Food Science and Technology Department


Department of Food Science and Technology: Faculty Publications

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Yu Zhang et al. September 2022. Horticultural Plant Journal, 8 (5): 562e574.


Open access


Cucurbitaceae is one of the most important plant families distributed worldwide. Transcription factors (TFs) regulate plant growth at the transcription level. Here, we performed a systematic analysis of 42 641 TFs from 63 families in 14 Cucurbitaceae and 10 non-cucurbit species. Whole-genome duplication (WGD) was the dominant event type in almost all Cucurbitaceae plants. The TF families were divided into 1 210 orthogroups (OGs), of which, 112 were unique to Cucurbitaceae. Although the loss of several gene families was detected in Cucurbitaceae, the gene families expanded in five species that experienced a WGD event comparing with grape. Our findings revealed that the recent WGD events that had occurred in Cucurbitaceae played important roles in the expansion of most TF families. The functional enrichment analysis of the genes that significantly expanded or contracted uncovered five gene families, AUX/IAA, NAC, NBS, HB, and NF-YB. Finally, we conducted a comprehensive analysis of the TCP gene family and identified 16 tendril-related (TEN) genes in 11 Cucurbitaceae species. Interestingly, the characteristic sequence changed from CNNFYFP to CNNFYLP in the TEN gene (Bhi06M000087) of Benincasa hispida. Furthermore, we identified a new characteristic sequence, YNN, which could be used for TEN gene exploitation in Cucurbitaceae. In conclusion, this study will serve as a reference for studying the relationship between gene family evolution and genome duplication. Moreover, it will provide rich genetic resources for functional Cucurbitaceae studies in the future.

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