J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2023, Vol. 65 ›› Issue (5): 1262-1276.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13437

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The GATA transcription factor TaGATA1 recruits demethylase TaELF6‐A1 and enhances seed dormancy in wheat by directly regulating TaABI5

Xuening Wei1*, Yuyan Li1, Xiuliang Zhu1, Xin Liu1, Xingguo Ye1, Miaoping Zhou2 and Zengyan Zhang1*   

  1. 1. The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement/Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Triticeae Crops, Ministry of Agriculture, Institute of Crop Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China;
    2. Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Nanjing 210014, China
    *Correspondences: Xuening Wei (weixuening@caas.cn, Dr. Wei is responsible for the distribution of the material associated with this article); Zengyan Zhang (zhangzengyan@caas.cn)
  • Received:2022-10-24 Accepted:2022-12-13 Online:2023-01-13 Published:2023-05-01

Abstract: Seed dormancy is an important agronomic trait in crops, and plants with low dormancy are prone to preharvest sprouting (PHS) under high‐ temperature and humid conditions. In this study, we report that the GATA transcription factor TaGATA1 is a positive regulator of seed dormancy by regulating TaABI5 expression in wheat. Our results demonstrate that TaGATA1 overexpression significantly enhances seed dormancy and increases resistance to PHS in wheat. Gene expression patterns, abscisic acid (ABA) response assay, and transcriptome analysis all indicate that TaGATA1 functions through the ABA signaling pathway. The transcript abundance of TaABI5, an essential regulator in the ABA signaling pathway, is significantly elevated in plants overexpressing TaGATA1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP) and transient expression analysis showed that TaGATA1 binds to the GATA motifs at the promoter of TaABI5 and induces its expression. We also demonstrate that TaGATA1 physically interacts with the putative demethylase TaELF6‐ A1, the wheat orthologue of Arabidopsis ELF6. ChIP–qPCR analysis showed that H3K27me3 levels significantly decline at the TaABI5 promoter in the TaGATA1‐overexpression wheat line and that transient expression of TaELF6‐A1 reduces methylation levels at the TaABI5 promoter, increasing TaABI5 expression. These findings reveal a new transcription module, including TaGATA1– TaELF6‐A1–TaABI5, which contributes to seed dormancy through the ABA signaling pathway and epigenetic reprogramming at the target site. TaGATA1 could be a candidate gene for improving PHS resistance.

Key words: ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5), common wheat, demethylase, GATA transcription factor, preharvest sprouting, seed dormancy

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