Author: Susheng Song, Bei Liu, Junqiao Song, Shihai Pang, Tianxue Song, Shang Gao, Yue Zhang, Huang Huang and Tiancong Qi
The phytohormones ethylene (ET) and jasmonate (JA) regulate plant development, growth, and defense responses; however, the molecular basis for their signaling crosstalk is unclear. Here, we show that JA-ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins, which repress JA signaling, repress trichome initiation/branching and anthocyanin accumulation, and inhibit the transcriptional activity of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-MYB members (GLABRA3 (GL3)-GL1 and TRANSPARENT TESTA 8 (TT8)-MYB75) of WD-repeat/bHLH/MYB (WBM) complexes. The ET-stabilized transcription factors ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) and EIN3-LIKE1 (EIL1) were found to bind to several members of WBM complexes, including GL3, ENHANCER OF GLABRA3 (EGL3), TT8, GL1, MYB75, and TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA1 (TTG1). This binding repressed the transcriptional activity of the bHLH-MYB proteins and inhibited anthocyanin accumulation, trichome formation, and defenses against insect herbivores while promoting root hair formation. Conversely, the JA-activated bHLH members GL3, EGL3, and TT8 of WBM complexes were able to interact with and attenuate the transcriptional activity of EIN3/EIL1 at the HOOKLESS1 promoter, and their overexpression inhibited apical hook formation. Thus, this study demonstrates a molecular framework for signaling crosstalk between JA and ET in plant development, secondary metabolism, and defense responses.