Plant molecular biology

Five novel transcription factors as potential regulators of OsNHX1 gene expression in a salt tolerant rice genotype.

PMID 27766460


This manuscript reports the identification and characterization of five transcription factors binding to the promoter of OsNHX1 in a salt stress tolerant rice genotype (Hasawi). Although NHX1 encoding genes are known to be highly regulated at the transcription level by different abiotic stresses, namely salt and drought stress, until now only one transcription factor (TF) binding to its promoter has been reported. In order to unveil the TFs regulating NHX1 gene expression, which is known to be highly induced under salt stress, we have used a Y1H system to screen a salt induced rice cDNA expression library from Hasawi. This approach allowed us to identify five TFs belonging to three distinct TF families: one TCP (OsPCF2), one CPP (OsCPP5) and three NIN-like (OsNIN-like2, OsNIN-like3 and OsNIN-like4) binding to the OsNHX1 gene promoter. We have also shown that these TFs act either as transcriptional activators (OsPCF2, OsNIN-like4) or repressors (OsCPP5, OsNIN-like2) and their encoding genes are differentially regulated by salt and PEG-induced drought stress in two rice genotypes, Nipponbare (salt-sensitive) and Hasawi (salt-tolerant). The transactivation activity of OsNIN-like3 was not possible to determine. Increased soil salinity has a direct impact on the reduction of plant growth and crop yield and it is therefore fundamental to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying gene expression regulation under adverse environmental conditions. OsNHX1 is the most abundant K