J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (3): 617-632.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13392

• Review Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in structure and function of auxin response factor in plants

Yonghui Li1†, Shaqila Han1† and Yanhua Qi1,2*   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Herbage & Endemic Crop Biology of Ministry of Education, Inner Mongolia Key Laboratory of Herbage & Endemic Crop Biotechnology, School of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot 010000, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondence: Yanhua Qi (qyhjp@zju.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-07-10 Accepted:2022-10-18 Online:2022-10-20 Published:2023-03-01

Abstract: Auxin is a crucial phytohormone that has various effects on the regulators of plant growth and development. Auxin signal transduction is mainly controlled by two gene families: auxin response factor (ARF) and auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (Aux/IAA). ARFs are plant-specific transcription factors that bind directly to auxin response elements in the promoters of auxin-responsive genes. ARF proteins contain three conserved regions: a conserved N-terminal B3 DNA-binding domain, a variable intermediate middle region domain that functions in activation or repression, and a C-terminal domain including the Phox and Bem1p region for dimerization, similar to the III and IV elements of Aux/IAA, which facilitate protein–protein interaction through homodimerization of ARF proteins or heterodimerization of ARF and Aux/IAA proteins. In the two decades following the identification of the first ARF, 23 ARF members have been identified and characterized in Arabidopsis. Using whole-genome sequencing, 22, 25, 23, 25, and 36 ARF genes have been identified in tomato, rice, wheat, sorghum, and maize, respectively, in addition to which the related biofunctions of some ARFs have been reported. ARFs play crucial roles in regulating the growth and development of roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, responses to biotic and abiotic stresses, and phytohormone signal crosstalk. In this review, we summarize the research progress on the structures and functions of ARFs in Arabidopsis, tomato, and cereal crops, to provide clues for future basic research on phytohormone signaling and the molecular design breeding of crops.

Key words: auxin response factor, auxin signaling, biological function, biotic and abiotic stresses, plant growth, development

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