Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) is a component of the MAPK cascade pathway that plays an important role in plant growth, development, and response to abiotic stress, the functions of which have been well characterized in several plant species, such as Arabidopsis, rice, and maize. In this study, we performed genome-wide and systemic bioinformatics analysis of MAPKKK family genes in Medicago truncatula. In total, there were 73 MAPKKK family members identified by search of homologs, and they were classified into three subfamilies, MEKK, ZIK, and RAF. Based on the genomic duplication function, 72 MtMAPKKK genes were located throughout all chromosomes, but they cluster in different chromosomes. Using microarray data and high-throughput sequencing-data, we assessed their expression profiles in growth and development processes; these results provided evidence for exploring their important functions in developmental regulation, especially in the nodulation process. Furthermore, we investigated their expression in abiotic stresses by RNA-seq, which confirmed their critical roles in signal transduction and regulation processes under stress. In summary, our genome-wide, systemic characterization and expressional analysis of MtMAPKKK genes will provide insights that will be useful for characterizing the molecular functions of these genes in M. truncatula.
Li, W., Xu, H., Liu, Y., Song, L., Guo, C., & Shu, Y. (2016). Bioinformatics Analysis of MAPKKK Family Genes in Medicago truncatula. Genes, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/genes7040013