Genome-Wide Analysis of Citrus R2R3MYB Genes and Their Spatiotemporal Expression under Stresses and Hormone Treatments

The R2R3MYB proteins represent one of the largest families of transcription factors, which play important roles in plant growth and development. Although genome-wide analysis of this family has been conducted in many species, little is known about R2R3MYB genes in citrus, In this study, 101 R2R3MYB genes has been identified in the citrus (Citrus sinesis and Citrus clementina) genomes, which are almost equal to the number of rice. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that they could be subdivided into 21 subgroups. The evolutionary relationships and the intro-exon organizations were also analyzed, revealing strong gene conservation but also the expansions of particular functional genes during the plant evolution. Tissue-specific expression profiles showed that 95 citrus R2R3MYB genes were expressed in at least one tissue and the other 6 genes showed very low expression in all tissues tested, suggesting that citrus R2R3MYB genes play important roles in the development of all citrus organs. The transcript abundance level analysis during abiotic conditions (NaCl, abscisic acid, jasmonic acid, drought and low temperature) identified a group of R2R3MYB genes that responded to one or multiple treatments, which showed a promising for improving citrus adaptation to stresses. Our results provided an essential foundation for the future selection of the citrus R2R3MYB genes for cloning and functional dissection with an aim of uncovering their roles in citrus growth and development.