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Enhanced tolerance to environmental stress in transgenic plants expressing the transcriptional coactivator multiprotein bridging factor 1c.

Suzuki N., Rizhsky L., Liang H., Shuman J., Shulaev V., Mittler R.

Abiotic stresses cause extensive losses to agricultural production worldwide. Acclimation of plants to abiotic conditions such as drought, salinity, or heat is mediated by a complex network of transcription factors and other regulatory genes that control multiple defense enzymes, proteins, and pathways. Associated with the activity of different transcription factors are transcriptional coactivators that enhance their binding to the basal transcription machinery. Although the importance of stress-response transcription factors was demonstrated in transgenic plants, little is known about the function of transcriptional coactivators associated with abiotic stresses. Here, we report that constitutive expression of the stress-response transcriptional coactivator multiprotein bridging factor 1c (MBF1c) in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) enhances the tolerance of transgenic plants to bacterial infection, heat, and osmotic stress. Moreover, the enhanced tolerance of transgenic plants to osmotic and heat stress was maintained even when these two stresses were combined. The expression of MBF1c in transgenic plants augmented the accumulation of a number of defense transcripts in response to heat stress. Transcriptome profiling and inhibitor studies suggest that MBF1c expression enhances the tolerance of transgenic plants to heat and osmotic stress by partially activating, or perturbing, the ethylene-response signal transduction pathway. Present findings suggest that MBF1 proteins could be used to enhance the tolerance of plants to different abiotic stresses.

Plant Physiol. 139:1313-1322(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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