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DREB Genes from Common Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) Show Broad to Specific Abiotic Stress Responses and Distinct Levels of Nucleotide Diversity.


We analyzed the nucleotide variability and the expression profile of DREB genes from common bean, a crop of high economic and nutritional value throughout the world but constantly affected by abiotic stresses in cultivation areas. As DREB genes have been constantly associated with abiotic stress tolerance, we systematically categorized 54 putative PvDREB genes distributed in the common bean genome. It involved from AP2 domain location and amino acid conservation analysis (valine at the 14th position) to the identification of conserved motifs within peptide sequences representing six subgroups (A-1 to A-6) of PvDREB proteins. Four genes (PvDREB1F, PvDREB2A, PvDREB5A, and PvDREB6B) were cloned and analyzed for their expression profiles under abiotic stresses and their nucleotide and amino acid diversity in genotypes of Andean and Mesoamerican origin, showing distinct patterns of expression and nucleotide variability. PvDREB1F and PvDREB5A showed high relative inducibilities when genotypes of common bean were submitted to stresses by drought, salt, cold, and ABA. PvDREB2A inducibility was predominantly localized to the stem under drought. PvDREB6B was previously described as an A-2 (DREB2) gene, but a detailed phylogenetic analysis and its expression profile clearly indicated it belongs to group A-6. PvDREB6B was found as a cold- and dehydration-responsive gene, mainly in leaves. Interestingly, PvDREB6B also showed a high nucleotide and amino acid diversity within its coding region, in comparison to the others, implicating in several nonsynonymous amino acid substitutions between Andean and Mesoamerican genotypes. The expression patterns and nucleotide diversity of each DREB found in this study revealed fundamental characteristics for further research aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms associated with drought, salt, and cold tolerance in common bean, which could be performed based on association mapping and functional analyses.

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