College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Cold is an abiotic stress that can greatly affect the growth and survival of plants. Here, we reported that an AP2/ERF family gene, BplERF1, isolated from Betula platyphylla played a contributing role in cold stress tolerance. Overexpression of BplERF1 in B. platyphylla transgenic lines enhanced cold stress tolerance by increasing the scavenging capability and reducing H2O2 and malondialdehyde (MDA) content in transgenic plants. Construction of BplERF-mediated multilayered hierarchical gene regulatory network (ML-hGRN), using Top-down GGM algorithm and the transcriptomic data of BplERF1 overexpression lines, led to the identification of five candidate target genes of BplERF1 which include MPK20, ERF9, WRKY53, WRKY70, and GIA1. All of them were then verified to be the true target genes of BplERF1 by chromatin-immunoprecipitation PCR (ChIP-PCR) assay. Our results indicate that BplERF1 is a positive regulator of cold tolerance and is capable of exerting regulation on the expression of cold signaling and regulatory genes, causing mitigation of reactive oxygen species.
A systems biology approach identifies a regulator, BplERF1, of cold tolerance in Betula platyphylla.
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