GmEREBP1 Is a Transcription Factor Activating Defense Genes in Soybean and Arabidopsis

Mazarei, Mitra
Elling, Axel
Maier, Tom
Baum, Thomas
Puthoff, David
Baum, Thomas
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Plant Pathology and MicrobiologyGenetics

Ethylene-responsive element-binding proteins (EREBPs) are plant-specific transcription factors, many of which have been linked to plant defense responses. Conserved EREBP domains bind to the GCC box, a promoter element found in pathogenesis-related (PR) genes. We previously identified an EREBP gene from soybean (GmEREBP1) whose transcript abundance decreased in soybean cyst-nematode-infected roots of a susceptible cultivar, whereas it increased in abundance in infected roots of a resistant cultivar. Here, we report further characterization of this gene. Transient expression analyses showed that GmEREBP1 is localized to the plant nucleus and functions as a transcriptional activator in soybean leaves. Transgenic soybean plants expressing GmEREBP1 activated the expression of the ethylene (ET)-responsive gene PR2 and the ET- and jasmonic acid (JA)-responsive gene PR3, and the salicylic acid (SA)-responsive gene PR1 but not the SA-responsive PR5. Similarly, transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing GmEREBP1 showed elevated mRNA abundance of the ET-regulated gene PR3 and the ET- and JA-regulated defense-related gene PDF1.2 but not the ET-regulated GST2, and the SA-regulated gene PR1 but not the SA-regulated PR2 and PR5. Transgenic soybean and Arabidopsis plants inoculated with cyst nematodes did not display a significantly altered susceptibility to nematode infection. These results collectively show that GmEREBP1 functions as a transacting inducer of defense gene expression in both soybean and Arabidopsis and mediates the expression of both ET- and JA- and SA-regulated defense-related genes in these plant species.


This article is published as Mazarei, Mitra, Axel A. Elling, Tom R. Maier, David P. Puthoff, and Thomas J. Baum. "GmEREBP1 is a transcription factor activating defense genes in soybean and Arabidopsis." Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions 20, no. 2 (2007): 107-119, doi: 10.1094/MPMI-20-2-0107. Posted with permission.