Seok Keun Cho

Potential Speaker for plant biology conference 2017-Seok Keun Cho

Title: Identification and classification of U-box E3 ligases in barley and their responses to drought stress and fungal infection

Seok Keun Cho

YONSEI UNIVERSITY Korea, Republic of


Seok Keun Cho received his Ph.D. in Plant systems biology from Yonsei University, South Korea. At present he is working as a Research Professor at Institute of Life Science and Biotechnology and BrainKorea21 Plus initiative for Biological function & Systems, Yonsei University, Korea.


An important way of plant defense against environmental and pathogen stresses is exploiting a controlled protein turnover pathway, the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS). E3 ligases are key enzymes that play a central role in target determing by the UPS. Recently, it has been defined that U-box ligases, a specific class of E3 ligases, are largly implicated in the defence mechanisms against abiotic and biotic stresses in many plants. However, no studies on U-box E3 ligases have been performed in barley, one of the important staple crops in the world. In this study, we identified 68 putative U-box E3 ligases from the barley genome and corresponding expressed sequence tags (ESTs) data. Based on their domain compositions and arrangement, we classified barley U-box proteins into eight different classes. Similar to Arabidopsis and rice U-box E3 ligases, most of barley U-box E3 ligases have evolutionary well-conserved domain organizations. We identified a barley specific U-box gene with a GABA transporter 1 (GTA1) domain in addition to U-box domain, which is neither found in Arabidopsis nor in rice. Furthermore, we found that the expressions of some U-box genes were specifically up-and-down regulated by drought stress or by pathogen infection, implying the possible roles of barley U-box genes in stress responses. The identification and classification of barley U-box genes may provide a plaftorm to functionally study the stress-related E3 ligases in barley