Plant calcineurin Blike (CBL) proteins have been proposed as important Ca2+ sensors and specifically interact with CBLinteracting protein kinases (CIPKs) in plantspecific calcium signaling. We identified and isolated 15 CIPK genes in japonica rice variety Nipponbare based on the predicted sequences of rice CIPK gene family. Gene structure analysis showed that these 15 genes were divided into intronless and intronrich groups, in which OsCIPK3 and OsCIPK24 exhibit alternative splicing. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that rice CIPKs share an ancestor with Arabidopsis and poplar CIPKs. Analysis of gene expression showed that these OsCIPK genes were differentially induced by biotic stress (bacterial blight, BB) and abiotic stresses, including heavy metal (Hg2+), high salt, cold and ABA. Interestingly, five OsCIPK genes (OsCIPK1, OsCIPK2, OsCIPK10, OsCIPK11 and OsCIPK12) were transcriptionally upregulated after BB infection, among which four OsCIPK genes (OsCIPK2, OsCIPK10, OsCIPK11 and OsCIPK14) were induced by all treatments, indicating that some of OsCIPKs were involved in multiple stress response pathways in plants. The findings suggest that CIPKs play a key role in both biotic and abiotic stress responses.
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