J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (5): 902-912.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13035

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

HBI1‐TCP20 interaction positively regulates the CEPs‐mediated systemic nitrate acquisition

Xiaoqian Chu1, Mingzhe Li1, Shujuan Zhang2, Min Fan1, Chao Han1, Fengning Xiang1, Genying Li2, Yong Wang3, Cheng‐Bin Xiang4, Jia‐Gang Wang1* and Ming‐Yi Bai1*   

  1. 1The Key Laboratory of Plant Development and Environmental Adaptation Biology, Ministry of Education, School of Life Sciences, Shandong University, Qingdao 266237, China
    2Crop Research Institute, Shandong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Jinan 250100, China
    3State Key Laboratory of Crop Biology, College of Life Sciences, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271018, China
    4School of Life Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230027, China

    *Correspondences: Jia‐Gang Wang (wangjiagangsdau@163.com); Ming‐Yi Bai (baimingyi@sdu.edu.cn, Dr. Bai is responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2020-08-29 Accepted:2020-11-07 Online:2020-11-19 Published:2021-05-01

Abstract: Nitrate is the main source of nitrogen for plants but often distributed heterogeneously in soil. Plants have evolved sophisticated strategies to achieve adequate nitrate by modulating the root system architecture. The nitrate acquisition system is triggered by the short mobile peptides C‐TERMINALLY ENCODED PEPTIDES (CEPs) that are synthesized on the nitrate‐starved roots, but induce the expression of nitrate transporters on the other nitrate‐rich roots through an unclear signal transduction pathway. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factors HBI1 and TCP20 play important roles in plant growth and development in response to fluctuating nitrate supply. HBI1 physically interacts with TCP20, and this interaction was enhanced by the nitrate starvation. HBI1 and TCP20 directly bind to the promoters of CEPs and cooperatively induce their expression. Mutation in HBIs and/or TCP20 resulted in impaired systemic nitrate acquisition response. Our solid genetic and molecular evidence strongly indicate that the HBI1‐TCP20 module positively regulates the CEPs‐mediated systemic nitrate acquisition.

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