5 years ago

PIF3 is a negative regulator of the CBF pathway and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis [Plant Biology]

PIF3 is a negative regulator of the CBF pathway and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis [Plant Biology]
Hongwei Guo, Yiting Shi, Shuhua Yang, Jigang Li, Xiaoyun Xin, Xiaoyan Zhang, Lijuan Qi, Bochen Jiang

Light and temperature are major environmental factors that coordinately control plant growth and survival. However, how plants integrate light and temperature signals to better adapt to environmental stresses is poorly understood. PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3 (PIF3), a key transcription factor repressing photomorphogenesis, has been shown to play a pivotal role in mediating plants’ responses to various environmental signals. In this study, we found that PIF3 functions as a negative regulator of Arabidopsis freezing tolerance by directly binding to the promoters of C-REPEAT BINDING FACTOR (CBF) genes to down-regulate their expression. In addition, two F-box proteins, EIN3-BINDING F-BOX 1 (EBF1) and EBF2, directly target PIF3 for 26S proteasome-mediated degradation. Consistently, ebf1 and ebf2 mutants were more sensitive to freezing than were the wild type, and the pif3 mutation suppressed the freezing-sensitive phenotype of ebf1. Furthermore, cold treatment promoted the degradation of EBF1 and EBF2, leading to increased stability of the PIF3 protein and reduced expression of the CBF genes. Together, our study uncovers an important role of PIF3 in Arabidopsis freezing tolerance by negatively regulating the expression of genes in the CBF pathway.

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