Beyond Trees: Regulons and Regulatory Motif Characterization

Title: Beyond Trees: Regulons and Regulatory Motif Characterization
Authors: Xia, Xuhua
Date: 2020
Abstract: Trees and their seeds regulate their germination, growth, and reproduction in response to environmental stimuli. These stimuli, through signal transduction, trigger transcription factors that alter the expression of various genes leading to the unfolding of the genetic program. A regulon is conceptually defined as a set of target genes regulated by a transcription factor by physically binding to regulatory motifs to accomplish a specific biological function, such as the CO-FT regulon for flowering timing and fall growth cessation in trees. Only with a clear characterization of regulatory motifs, can candidate target genes be experimentally validated, but motif characterization represents the weakest feature of regulon research, especially in tree genetics. I review here relevant experimental and bioinformatics approaches in characterizing transcription factors and their binding sites, outline problems in tree regulon research, and demonstrate how transcription factor databases can be effectively used to aid the characterization of tree regulons.
DOI: 10.3390/genes11090995
CollectionBiologie // Biology