Jasmonate regulates the inducer of cbf expression-C-repeat binding factor/DRE binding factor1 cascade and freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis

Yanru Hu, Liqun Jiang, Fang Wang, Diqiu Yu
Plant Cell 2013, 25 (8): 2907-24
The inducer of cbf expression (ICE)-C-repeat binding factor/DRE binding factor1 (CBF/DREB1) transcriptional pathway plays a critical role in modulating cold stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Dissecting crucial upstream regulatory signals or components of the ICE-CBF/DREB1 cascade will enhance our understanding of plant cold-tolerance mechanisms. Here, we show that jasmonate positively regulates plant responses to freezing stress in Arabidopsis. Exogenous application of jasmonate significantly enhanced plant freezing tolerance with or without cold acclimation. By contrast, blocking endogenous jasmonate biosynthesis and signaling rendered plants hypersensitive to freezing stress. Consistent with the positive role of jasmonate in freezing stress, production of endogenous jasmonate was triggered by cold treatment. In addition, cold induction of genes acting in the CBF/DREB1 signaling pathway was upregulated by jasmonate. Further investigation revealed that several jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins, the repressors of jasmonate signaling, physically interact with ICE1 and ICE2 transcription factors. JAZ1 and JAZ4 repress the transcriptional function of ICE1, thereby attenuating the expression of its regulon. Consistent with this, overexpression of JAZ1 or JAZ4 represses freezing stress responses of Arabidopsis. Taken together, our study provides evidence that jasmonate functions as a critical upstream signal of the ICE-CBF/DREB1 pathway to positively regulate Arabidopsis freezing tolerance.

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