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TaPIE1 mediates wheat responses to Rhizoctonia cerealis and freezing stresses


The research team led by Prof. Zhang Zengyan in Institute of Crop Sciences (ICS), CAAS, cloned and discovered the functional roles of a novel ERF transcription factor TaPIE1 in wheat. TaPIE1 mediates host defense responses to both the necrotrophic fungal pathogen Rhizoctonia cerealis and freezing stresses. TaPIE1, as an activator-type ERF transcription factor, preferentially binds to the GCC-box cis-elements in promoters of defense and stress-responsive genes (Fig. A and B). R. cerealis and freezing challenges enhanced the transcript level and transactivation activity of TaPIE1 (Fig. C), which activated the expression of TaPIE1-activated defense- and stress-responsive genes (Fig. D), leading to enhanced resistance to both stresses (Fig. E and F). Ethylene positively regulated TaPIE1-mediated responses (Fig. G and H). This study firstly reported the coordinated regulation and underlying mechanism of a wheat ERF transcription factor in responses to pathogen R. cerealis and freezing stresses, which laid the foundation for molecular breeding for R. cerealis resistance.



The results were published online in the international journal Plant Physiology on Jan 2014. Prof. Zhang Zengyan is the correspondence author of the paper. Ph. D student Zhu Xiuliang is the first author. The study was supported by the ‘863’ program ofChina(Grant no. 2012AA10A309 to Z Zhang) and the National Key Sci-Techprogram,China(Grant no. 2013ZX08002-001 to Z Zhang).