Overexpression of the transcription factor NF-YC9 confers abscisic acid hypersensitivity in Arabidopsis
Nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) family proteins are involved in many developmental processes and responses to environmental cues in plants, but whether and how they regulate phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) signaling need further studies. In the present study, we showed that over-expression of the NF-YC9 gene confers ABA hypersensitivity in both the early seedling growth and stomatal response, while down-regulation of NF-YC9 does not affect ABA response in these processes. We also showed that over-expression of the NF-YC9 gene confers salt and osmotic hypersensitivity in early seedling growth, which is likely to be directly associated with the ABA hypersensitivity. Further, we observed that NF-YC9 physically interacts with the ABA-responsive bZIP transcription factor ABA-INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5), and facilitates the function of ABI5 to bind and activate the promoter of a target gene EM6. Additionally, NF-YC9 up-regulates expression of the ABI5 gene in response to ABA. These findings show that NF-YC9 may be involved in ABA signaling as a positive regulator and likely functions redundantly together with other NF-YC members, and support the model that the NF-YC9 mediates ABA signaling via targeting to and aiding the ABA-responsive transcription factors such as ABI5.
Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11103-017-0661-1
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