Submitted to: Plant Signaling and Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/12/2018
Publication Date: 6/19/2018
Citation: Lawrence, S.D., Novak, N.G. 2018. The remarkable plethora of infestation responsive Q-type C2H2 transcription factors in potato. Plant Signaling and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13104-018-3503-6.
Interpretive Summary: Crop plants are threatened in survival and yield by drought, excess salt (salinity) in soils, and insect pest attack. Plants that can survive these threats, and produce good yields, are crucial to the success of American agriculture. Scientists have determined that a family of regulatory genes known as the Q-type-2-zinc fingered C2H2 transcription factors (Q-type C2H2 TFs) can play a crucial role in enhancing tolerance to such stresses. Identifying and characterizing new genes in this family can augment breeding programs by identifying new genes that lead to plants with increased tolerance to stress. Examination of the potato genome led to the finding that there were six nearly identical Q-type C2H2 TFs residing within the same portion of chromosome 11. This work tested and found that all six of these genes were induced upon insect attack. There were some differences, which suggest they play different roles in the response to insects in potato. Discovery of these genes will be important to scientists and plant breeders interested in producing new stress tolerant varieties of this valuable crop.
Technical Abstract: Identification of an infestation responsive Q type C2H2 transcription factor (TF), in potato StZFP2 led to an interest in this family of transcription factors (TF). Q-type C2H2 TFs play crucial roles in the plant response to stress often leading to regulation of downstream genes required for tolerance to these challenges. While mining the Solanum tuberosum group phureja genome for additional members of this family of proteins, five additional genes were found on a portion of chromosome 11. Expression of their transcripts upon infestation by Manduca sexta using quantitative real time PCR showed that all six of these genes were induced relative to control (uninfested) leaves. Expression of these transcripts in different tissues in control uninfested plants showed that the transcripts for five of the genes were highest in young roots. Overall, each gene showed variations in their response to infestation and preference for tissue expression. The six seemingly redundant genes most likely play unique roles in the plant response to infestation.