J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (8): 1874-1889.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13496

• Abiotic Stress Responses • Previous Articles     Next Articles

NIGT1 represses plant growth and mitigates phosphate starvation signaling to balance the growth response tradeoff in rice

Yuxin Zhang1,2†, Qianqian Zhang2†, Meina Guo3†, Xueqing Wang2, Tianjie Li2, Qingyu Wu2, Lihui Li1, Keke Yi2* and Wenyuan Ruan2*   

  1. 1. National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement/Institute of Crop Sciences, Beijing 100081, China;
    2. State Key Laboratory of Efficient Utilization of Arid and Semi‐arid Arable Land in Northern China/Key Laboratory of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Beijing 100081, China;
    3. National Engineering Research Center of Tree Breeding and Ecological Restoration, College of Biological Sciences and Technology, Beijing 100083, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    *Correspondences: Wenyuan Ruan (ruanwenyuan2008@163.com; Dr. Ruan is fully responsible for the distributions of all materials associated with this article); Keke Yi (yikeke@gmail.com)
  • Received:2022-12-07 Accepted:2023-04-19 Online:2023-04-25 Published:2023-08-01

Abstract: Inorganic phosphate (Pi) availability is an important factor which affects the growth and yield of crops, thus an appropriate and effective response to Pi fluctuation is critical. However, how crops orchestrate Pi signaling and growth under Pi starvation conditions to optimize the growth defense tradeoff remains unclear. Here we show that a Pi starvation-induced transcription factor NIGT1 (NITRATE-INDUCIBLE GARP-TYPE TRANSCRIPTIONAL REPRESSOR 1) controls plant growth and prevents a hyper-response to Pi starvation by directly repressing the expression of growth-related and Pi-signaling genes to achieve a balance between growth and response under a varying Pi environment. NIGT1 directly binds to the promoters of Pi starvation signaling marker genes, like IPS1, miR827, and SPX2, under Pi-deficient conditions to mitigate the Pi-starvation responsive (PSR). It also directly represses the expression of vacuolar Pi efflux transporter genes VPE1/2 to regulate plant Pi homeostasis. We further demonstrate that NIGT1 constrains shoot growth by repressing the expression of growth-related regulatory genes, including brassinolide signal transduction master regulator BZR1, cell division regulator CYCB1;1, and DNA replication regulator PSF3. Our findings reveal the function of NIGT1 in orchestrating plant growth and Pi starvation signaling, and also provide evidence that NIGT1 acts as a safeguard to avoid hyper-response during Pi starvation stress in rice.

Key words: NIGT1, phosphate (Pi), PHRs, Pi-starvation responsive (PSR), Pi starvation, Pi signaling

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