J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2018, Vol. 60 ›› Issue (7): 608-622.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12651

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles    

Two soybean bHLH factors regulate response to iron deficiency

Lin Li1, Wenwen Gao1, Qi Peng1, Bin Zhou2, Qihui Kong1, Yinghui Ying1, Huixia Shou1*   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    2Institute of Crop Science, Anhui Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hefei 230031, China
  • Received:2017-12-05 Accepted:2018-03-21 Published:2018-07-01
  • About author:*Correspondence: Email: Huixia Shou (huixia@zju.edu.cn)


Iron is an indispensable micronutrient for plant growth and development. Limited bioavailability of Fe in the soil leads to iron deficiency chlorosis in plants and yield loss. In this study, two soybean basic helix‐loop‐helix transcription factors, GmbHLH57 and GmbHLH300, were identified in response to Fe‐deficiency. Both transcription factors are expressed in roots and nodules, and are induced by Fe deficiency; these patterns were confirmed in transgenic hairy roots expressing constructs of the endogenous promoters fused to a GUS reporter gene. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation, yeast two‐hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation (co‐IP) assays indicated a physical interaction between GmbHLH57 and GmbHLH300. Studies on transgenic soybeans overexpressing GmbHLH57 and GmbHLH300 revealed that overexpression of each transcription factor, alone, results in no change of the responses to Fe deficiency, whereas overexpression of both transcription factors upregulated the downstream Fe uptake genes and increased the Fe content in these transgenic plants. Compared to wild type, these double overexpression transgenic plants were more tolerant to Fe deficiency. Taken together, our findings establish that GmbHLH57 and GmbHLH300 are important transcription factors involved in Fe homeostasis in soybean.

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