J Integr Plant Biol.

• Research Articles •    

PagGRF12a interacts with PagGIF1b to regulate secondary xylem development through modulating PagXND1a expression in Populus alba × P. glandulosa

Jinnan Wang1,4 , Houjun Zhou1,5 , Yanqiu Zhao1,2 , Cheng Jiang1,2 , Jihong Li4 , Fang Tang1,3 , Yingli Liu1 , Shutang Zhao1,3 , Jianjun Hu1,3, Xueqin Song1,3*, Meng-Zhu Lu1,2,3   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding, Key Laboratory of Tree Breeding and Cultivation of the State Forestry Administration, Research Institute of Forestry, Chinese Academy of Forestry, Beijing 100091, China;
    2State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, School of Forestry and Biotechnology, Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University, Hangzhou 311300, China
    3Co-Innovation Center for Sustainable Forestry in Southern China, Nanjing Forestry University, Jiangsu 210037, China;
    4Key Laboratory of Agricultural Ecology and Environment, College of Forestry, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai’an 271018, China;
    5School of Agriculture, Ludong University, Yantai 264025, China.

    *Correspondence: xqsong@caf.ac.cn
  • Received:2021-03-24 Accepted:2021-04-21 Online:2021-04-29

Abstract: Growth‐regulating factors (GRFs) are important regulators of plant development and growth, but their possible roles in xylem development in woody plants remain unclear. Here, we report that Populus alba × P. glandulosa PagGRF12a negatively regulates xylem development in poplar. PagGRF12a is expressed in vascular tissues. Compared to non‐transgenic control plants, transgenic poplar plants overexpressing PagGRF12a exhibited reduced xylem width and plants with repressed expression of PagGRF12a exhibited increased xylem width. Xylem NAC domain 1 (XND1) encodes a NAC domain transcription factor that regulates xylem development and transcriptional analyses revealed that PagXND1a is highly upregulated in PagGRF12a‐overexpressing plants and downregulated in PagGRF12a‐suppressed plants, indicating that PagGRF12a may regulate xylem development through PagXND1a. Transient transcriptional assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation‐polymerase chain reaction assays confirmed that PagGRF12a directly upregulates PagXND1a. In addition, PagGRF12a interacts with the GRF‐Interacting Factor (GIF) PagGIF1b, and this interaction enhances the effects of PagGRF12a on PagXND1a. Our results indicate that PagGRF12a inhibits xylem development by upregulating the expression of PagXND1a.

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