Background: LIM (Lin-11, Isl-1 and Mec-3 domains) genes have been reported to trigger the formation of actin bundles, a major higher-order cytoskeletal assembly, in higher plants; however, the stress resistance related functions of these genes are still not well known. In this study, we collected 22 LIM genes designated as Brassica rapa LIM (BrLIM) from the Brassica database, analyzed the sequences, compared them with LIM genes of other plants and analyzed their expression after applying biotic and abiotic stresses in Chinese cabbage. Results: Upon sequence analysis these genes were confirmed as LIM genes and found to have a high degree of homology with LIM genes of other species. These genes showed distinct clusters when compared to other recognized LIM proteins upon phylogenetic analysis. Additionally, organ specific expression of these genes was observed in Chinese cabbage plants, with BrPLIM2a, b, c, BrDAR1, BrPLIM2e, f and g only being expressed in flower buds. Furthermore, the expression of these genes (except for BrDAR1 and BrPLIM2e) was high in the early flowering stages. The remaining genes were expressed in almost all organs tested. All BrDAR genes showed higher expression in flower buds compared to other organs. These organ specific expressions were clearly correlated with the phylogenetic grouping. In addition, BrWLIM2c and BrDAR4 responded to Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. conglutinans infection, while commonly two BrDARs and eight BrLIMs responded to cold, ABA and pH (pH5, pH7 and pH9) stress treatments in Chinese cabbage plants. Conclusion: Taken together, the results of this study indicate that BrLIM and BrDAR genes may be involved in resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses in Brassica.
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