J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (8): 1904-1917.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13501

• Abiotic Stress Responses • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The salt-activated CBF1/CBF2/CBF3-GALS1 module fine-tunes galactan-induced salt hypersensitivity in Arabidopsis

Jingwei Yan, Ya Liu, Jiawen Yan, Zhihui Liu, Heqiang Lou* and Jiasheng Wu*   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Subtropical Silviculture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
    These authors contributed equally to this work
    *Correspondences: Heqiang Lou (20170030@zafu.edu.cn); Jiasheng Wu (wujs@zafu.edu.cn, Dr. Wu is fully responsible for the distribution of the materials associated with this article)
  • Received:2023-01-12 Accepted:2023-05-04 Online:2023-05-07 Published:2023-08-01

Abstract: Plant growth and development are significantly hampered in saline environments, limiting agricultural productivity. Thus, it is crucial to unravel the mechanism underlying plant responses to salt stress. β-1,4-Galactan (galactan), which forms the side chains of pectic rhamnogalacturonan I, enhances plant sensitivity to high-salt stress. Galactan is synthesized by GALACTAN SYNTHASE1 (GALS1). We previously showed that NaCl relieves the direct suppression of GALS1 transcription by the transcription factors BPC1 and BPC2 to induce the excess accumulation of galactan in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, how plants adapt to this unfavorable environment remains unclear. Here, we determined that the transcription factors CBF1, CBF2, and CBF3 directly interact with the GALS1 promoter and repress its expression, leading to reduced galactan accumulation and enhanced salt tolerance. Salt stress enhances the binding of CBF1/CBF2/CBF3 to the GALS1 promoter by inducing CBF1/CBF2/CBF3 transcription and accumulation. Genetic analysis suggested that CBF1/CBF2/CBF3 function upstream of GALS1 to modulate salt-induced galactan biosynthesis and the salt response. CBF1/CBF2/CBF3 and BPC1/BPC2 function in parallel to regulate GALS1 expression, thereby modulating the salt response. Our results reveal a mechanism in which salt-activated CBF1/CBF2/CBF3 inhibit BPC1/BPC2-regulated GALS1 expression to alleviate galactan-induced salt hypersensitivity, providing an activation/deactivation fine-tune mechanism for dynamic regulation of GALS1 expression under salt stress in Arabidopsis.

Key words: Arabidopsis thaliana, BPC1/BPC2, CBF1/CBF2/CBF3, β-1, 4-galactan, GALS1, salt stress

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