The three-amino-acid-loop-extension (TALE) transcription factor gene family is widely present in plants and plays an important role in its growth and development. However, studies on the gene family are limited in poplar. In this study, we investigated 35 TALE gene family members in terms of their evolutionary relationship, classification, physicochemical properties, gene structures, and protein motifs. We divided the genes into four classes, based on their protein sequences similarity. The members from each class share similar gene structures and motif compositions. Evidence from transcript profiling indicated that the majority of the TALE genes exhibited distinct expression patterns over leaf, stem, and root tissues. Out of the 35 genes, 17 genes are highly expressed in stems, suggesting that the TALE gene family may play an important role in secondary growth and wood formation. Furthermore, out of the 35 genes, 11 genes are responsive to salt stress, and the spatio-temporal expression patterns of these 11 genes under salt stress were analysed using RT-qPCR. Yeast two-hybridization analysis indicated that poplar TALE proteins from different classes can form heterodimers. These results lay the foundation for future studies on biological functions of poplar TALE genes.
- Poplar TALE gene family
- Protein interaction
- Salt stress
- Tissue-differential expression