Identification, structural characterization and gene expression analysis of members of the nuclear factor-y family in chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) under dehydration and abscisic acid treatments

Ha Duc Chu, Kien Huu Nguyen, Yasuko Watanabe, Dung Tien Le, Thu Ly Thi Pham, Keiichi Mochida, Lam Son Phan Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


In plants, the Nuclear Factor-Y (NF-Y) transcription factors (TFs), which include three distinct types of NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC TFs, have been identified to play key roles in the regulation of various plant growth and developmental processes under both normal and environmental stress conditions. In this work, a total of 40 CaNF-Y-encoding genes, including eight CaNF-YAs, 21 CaNF-YBs, and 11 CaNF-YCs, were identified in chickpea, and their major gene and protein characteristics were subsequently obtained using various web-based tools. Of our interest, a phylogenetically-based analysis predicted 18 CaNF-Ys (eight CaNF-YAs, seven CaNF-YBs, and three CaNF-YCs) that potentially play roles in chickpea responses to dehydration according to their close relationship with the well-characterized GmNF-Ys in soybean. These results were in good agreement with the enrichment of drought-responsive cis-regulatory motifs and expression patterns obtained from in silico analyses using publically available transcriptome data. Most of the phylogenetically predicted drought-responsive CaNF-Y genes (15 of 18) were quantitatively validated to significantly respond to dehydration treatment in leaves and/or roots, further supporting the results of in silico analyses. Among these CaNF-Y genes, the transcript levels of CaNF-YA01 and CaNF-YC10 were the most highly accumulated in leaves (by approximately eight-fold) and roots (by approximately 18-fold), respectively, by dehydration. Furthermore, 12 of the 18 CaNF-Y genes were found to be responsive to the most well-known stress hormone, namely abscisic acid (ABA), in leaves and/or roots, suggesting that these genes may act in chickpea response to dehydration in ABA-dependent manner. Taken together, our study has provided a comprehensive and fundamental information for further functional analyses of selected CaNF-Y candidate genes, ultimately leading to the improvement of chickpea growth under water-limited conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3290
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2018



  • Abscisic acid
  • Cicer arietinum
  • Dehydration
  • Expression analysis
  • Nuclear factor-y
  • Phylogenetic analyses
  • Quantitative pcr
  • Transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Cite this