Mengna Zhuo, Yasuhito Sakuraba, Shuichi Yanagisawa*


Dof (DNA-binding with one finger) proteins are plant-specific transcription factors closely associated with a variety of physiological processes. Here, we show a novel function of the Dof protein family in Arabidopsis. Disruption of Dof2.1, a jasmonate (JA)-inducible gene, led to a marked reduction in promotion of leaf senescence and inhibition of root development as well as dark-induced and age-dependent leaf senescence, while overexpression of Dof2.1 promoted these processes. Additionally, the dof2.1 knockout mutant showed almost no change in the transcriptome in the absence of JA; in the presence of JA, expression of many senescence-associated genes, including MYC2, which encodes a central regulator of JA responses, was induced to a lesser extent in the dof2.1 mutant than in the wild-type. Furthermore, direct activation of the MYC2 promoter by Dof2.1, along with the results of epistasis analysis, indicated that Dof2.1 enhances leaf senescence mainly by promoting MYC2 expression. Interestingly, MYC2 was also identified as a transcriptional activator responsible for JA-inducible expression of Dof2.1. Based on these results, we propose that Dof2.1 acts as an enhancer of JA-induced leaf senescence through the MYC2-Dof2.1-MYC2 feedforward transcriptional loop.

Paper Information

The Plant Cell