The NAC domain was originally characterized from consensus sequences from petunia NAM and from Arabidopsis ATAF1, ATAF2, and CUC2. Genes containing the NAC domain (NAC family genes) are plant-specific transcriptional regulators and are expressed in various developmental stages and tissues. We performed a comprehensive analysis of NAC family genes in Oryza sativa (a monocot) and Arabidopsis thaliana. (a dicot). We found 75 predicted NAC proteins in full-length cDNA data sets of O. sativa (28,469 clones) and 105 in putative genes (28,581 sequences) from the A. thaliana genome. NAC domains from both predicted and known NAC family proteins were classified into two groups and 18 subgroups by sequence similarity. There were a few differences in amino acid sequences in the NAC domains between O. sativa and A. thaliana. In addition, we found 13 common sequence motifs from transcriptional activation regions in the C-terminal regions of predicted NAC proteins. These motifs probably diverged having correlations with NAC domain structures. We discuss the relationship between the structure and function of the NAC family proteins in light of our results and the published data. Our results will aid further functional analysis of NAC family genes.
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