Function of the ERFL1a transcription factor in wheat responses to water deficiency

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The APETALA2/ethylene response factor (AP2/ERF) superfamily is involved in the responses of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses; however, the functions and mechanisms of some members of this family in plants are unclear. In our previous study, expression of TaERFL1a, a member of the AP2/ERF family, was remarkably induced in wheat seedlings suffering freezing stress. In this study, we show that its expression was rapidly upregulated in response to salt, cold, and water deficiency, suggesting roles in the responses to abiotic stresses. Further, transient barley stripe mosaic virus-induced gene silencing (BSMV-VIGS) resulted in significantly reduced tolerance to 20% PEG6000-stimulated water deficiency. Subcellular localization and transcriptional activation assays separately showed that TaERFL1a was targeted to the nucleus and possessed transcriptional activation activity. Yeast two-hybrid library screening identified six interacting proteins, and of these, the interactions between TaERFL1a and TaSGT1, and TaERFL1a and TaDAD2 proteins were further confirmed by yeast co-transformation and bimolecular fluorescent complementation (BiFC). Collectively, our results suggest that TaERFL1a is a stress-responsive transcription factor, which could be functionally related to proteins involved in the abiotic stress responses of plants.




Gao, T., Li, G. Z., Wang, C. R., Dong, J., Yuan, S. S., Wang, Y. H., & Kang, G. Z. (2018). Function of the ERFL1a transcription factor in wheat responses to water deficiency. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 19(5).

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