The Solanum lycopersicum zinc finger2 cysteine-2/histidine-2 repressor-like transcription factor regulates development and tolerance to salinity in tomato and Arabidopsis

Hichri I., Muhovski Y., Žižková E., Dobrev P.I., Franco-Zorrilla J.M., Solano R., Lopez-Vidriero I., Motyka V., Lutts S.
PLANT PHYSIOLOGY 164: 1967-1990, 2014

Keywords: Abscisic acid, Arabidopsis, development, phytohormone, salinity, tomato, transcription factor, zinc finger repressor
Abstract: The zinc finger superfamily includes transcription factors that regulate multiple aspects of plant development and were recently shown to regulate abiotic stress tolerance. Cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum Zinc Finger2 [SIZF2]) is a cysteine-2/histidine-2-type zinc finger transcription factor bearing an ERF-associated amphiphilic repression domain and binding to the ACGTCAGTG sequence containing two AGT core motifs. SlZF2 is ubiquitously expressed during plant development, and is rapidly induced by sodium chloride, drought, and potassium chloride treatments. Its ectopic expression in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) and tomato impaired development and influenced leaf and flower shape, while causing a general stress visible by anthocyanin and malonyldialdehyde accumulation. SlZF2 enhanced salt sensitivity in Arabidopsis, whereas SlZF2 delayed senescence and improved tomato salt tolerance, particularly by maintaining photosynthesis and increasing polyamine biosynthesis, in salt-treated hydroponic cultures (125 mM sodium chloride, 20 d). SlZF2may be involved in abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis/signaling, because SlZF2 is rapidly induced by ABA treatment and 35S::SlZF2 tomatoes accumulate more ABA than wild-type plants. Transcriptome analysis of 35S::SlZF2 revealed that SlZF2 both increased and reduced expression of a comparable number of genes involved in various physiological processes such as photosynthesis, polyamine biosynthesis, and hormone (notably ABA) biosynthesis/signaling. Involvement of these different metabolic pathways in salt stress tolerance is discussed.
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IEB authors: Petre I. Dobrev, Václav Motyka, Eva Pokorná