Moso bamboo is well-known for its rapid-growth shoots and widespread rhizomes. However, the regulatory genes of these two processes are largely unexplored. GATA transcription factors regulate many developmental processes, but their roles in moso bamboo height control and rhizome development remains unexplored. Here, thirty-one bamboo GATA factors (PeGATAs) were identified, which are evolutionarily closer to rice than Arabidopsis, and their gene expression patterns were analyzed in bamboo development and phytohormone response with bioinformatics and molecular methods. Interestingly, PeGATAs could only be classified into three groups. Phytohormone responsive cis-elements were found in PeGATA promoters and the expression profiles showed that PeGATA genes might respond to gibberellin acid and abscisic acid but not to auxin at the transcriptional level. Furthermore, <i>PeGATA</i> genes have a tissue-specific expression pattern in bamboo rhizomes. Interestingly, most <i>PeGATA</i> genes were down-regulated during the rapid-growth of bamboo shoots. In addition, over-expressing one of the PeGATA genes, PeGATA26, significantly repressed the primary root length and plant height of transgenic <i>Arabidopsis</i> plants, which may be achieved by promoting the gibberellin acid turnover. Overall, our results provide insight into the function of GATA transcription factors in bamboo, and into genetic resources for engineering plant height.
Int J Mol Sci (International journal of molecular sciences)
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