Abiotic stress upregulated TaZFP34 represses the expression of type-B response regulator and SHY2 genes and enhances root to shoot ratio in wheat

Hongping Chang, Dandan Chen, Jason Kam, Terese Richardson, Janneke Drenth, Xinhong Guo, C. Lynne McIntyre, Shoucheng Chai, Anne L. Rae, Gang-Ping Xue

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Abstract

Q-type C2H2 zinc finger proteins (ZFPs) are plant-specific DNA-binding proteins containing a conserved QALGGH motif. This study investigated the function of abiotic stress-inducible and predominantly root-expressed Triticum aestivum ZFPs (TaZFP22, TaZFP34 and TaZFP46) with a focus on TaZFP34. Expression of TaZFP34 in roots was upregulated by high salinity, dehydration, oxidative and cold stresses. Overexpression of TaZFP34 in wheat roots resulted in an increased root-to-shoot ratio, a phenomenon observed during plant adaptation to drying soil. Expression of a number of genes which are potentially involved in modulating root growth was significantly altered in the roots of TaZFP34 overexpressing lines. In particular, the transcript levels of TaRR12B, TaRR12D and TaSHY2 that are homologues of known negative regulators of root growth were significantly reduced. Expression of shoot growth-related genes, such as GA3-ox and expansins, was downregulated in the transgenic shoots. TaZFP34 bound to (C/G)AGT(G/A)-like elements in the promoters of TaZFP34 down-regulated TaRR12D and TaSHY2 and transrepressed the reporter gene expression driven by TaRR12D and TaSHY2 promoters. Expression of the above reporter genes was also repressed by TaZFP46 and TaZFP22. These data suggest that TaZFP34 is a transcriptional repressor and is involved in modulating the root-to-shoot ratio
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-102
JournalPlant Science
Volume252
Early online date19 Jul 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • C2H2 zinc finger proteins
  • drought stress
  • root-specific expresssion
  • root and shoot growth
  • transcriptional repressor
  • wheat

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