KEY MESSAGE: Three tau class MaGSTs responded to abiotic stress, MaGSTF1 and MaGSTL1 responded to signaling molecules, they may play an important role in the growth of banana plantlet. Glutathione S-transferases (GST) are multifunctional detoxification enzymes that participate in a variety of cellular processes, including stress responses. In this study, we report the molecular characteristics of five GST genes (MaGSTU1, MaGSTU2, MaGSTU3, MaGSTF1 and MaGSTL1) cloned from banana (Musa acuminate L. AAA group, cv. Cavendish) using a RACE-PCR-based strategy. The predicted molecular masses of these GSTs range from 23.4 to 27.7 kDa and their pIs are acidic. At the amino acid level, they share high sequence similarity with GSTs in the banana DH-Pahang (AA group) genome. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the deduced amino acid sequences of MaGSTs also have high similarity to GSTs of other plant species. Expression analysis by semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed that these genes are differentially expressed in various tissues. In addition, their expression is regulated by various stress conditions, including exposure to signaling molecules, cold, salinity, drought and Fusarium oxysporum f specialis(f. Sp) cubense Tropical Race 4 (Foc TR4) infection. The expression of the tau class MaGSTs (MaGSTU1, MaGSTU2 and MaGSTU3) mainly responded to cold, salinity and drought while MaGSTF1 and MaGSTL1 expressions were upregulated by signaling molecules. Our findings suggest that MaGSTs play a key role in both development and abiotic stress responses.
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