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In higher plants, calcium is a ubiquitous second messenger in eukaryotic signal transduction cascades. The plant-specific calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play important roles regulating downstream components of calcium signaling. We conducted a genome-wide analysis of maize (Zea mays) CDPKs and identified 35 CDPK genes. Maize CDPKs were found to be similar to their counterparts in rice in gene structure, GC content and subgroup classification. Divergence time estimation suggested that maize-rice orthologs were largely consistent with the time when these two species diverged from the last common ancestor. Semiquantitative RT-PCR revealed that the 29 of total 35 maize CDPK genes were expressed in all tissues, including root, stem, leaf, tassel, ear, and kernel. Our genomic and bioinformatics analyses will provide an important foundation for further functional dissection of the maize CDPK gene family.


Pengda Ma, Jingying Liu, Xiangdong Yang, Rui Ma. Genome-wide identification of the maize calcium-dependent protein kinase gene family. Applied biochemistry and biotechnology. 2013 Apr;169(7):2111-25

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PMID: 23397323

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