Genome-wide identification and characterization of the vacuolar h+-atpase subunit h gene family in crop plants

Chen Kang, Fengjie Sun, Gustavo Caetano-Anollés, Lei Yan, Rui Li, Jianrong Bai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The vacuolar H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) plays many important roles in cell growth and in response to stresses in plants. The V-ATPase subunit H (VHA-H) is required to form a stable and active V-ATPase. Genome-wide analyses of VHA-H genes in crops contribute significantly to a systematic understanding of their functions. A total of 22 VHA-H genes were identified from 11 plants representing major crops including cotton, rice, millet, sorghum, rapeseed, maize, wheat, soybean, barley, potato, and beet. All of these VHA-H genes shared exon-intron structures similar to those of Arabidopsis thaliana. The C-terminal domain of VHA-H was shorter and more conserved than the N-terminal domain. The VHA-H gene was effectively used as a genetic marker to infer the phylogenetic relationships among plants, which were congruent with currently accepted taxonomic groupings. The VHA-H genes from six species of crops (Gossypium raimondii, Brassica napus, Glycine max, Solanum tuberosum, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays) showed high gene structural diversity. This resulted from the gains and losses of introns. Seven VHA-H genes in six species of crops (Gossypium raimondii, Hordeum vulgare, Solanum tuberosum, Setaria italica, Triticum aestivum, and Zea mays) contained multiple transcript isoforms arising from alternative splicing. The study of cis-acting elements of gene promoters and RNA-seq gene expression patterns confirms the role of VHA-H genes as eco-enzymes. The gene structural diversity and proteomic diversity of VHA-H genes in our crop sampling facilitate understanding of their functional diversity, including stress responses and traits important for crop improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5125
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019


  • Alternative splicing
  • Exon-intron structure
  • Structural domains
  • V-ATPase subunit H
  • Vacuole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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