Overexpression of a chromatin architecture-controlling AT-hook protein extends leaf longevity and increases the post-harvest storage life of plants

Pyung Ok Lim, Yumi Kim, Emily Breeze, Ja Choon Koo, Hye Ryun Woo, Jong Sang Ryu, Don Ha Park, Jim Beynon, Alex Tabrett, Vicky Buchanan-Wollaston, Hong Gil Nam

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Abstract

Leaf senescence is the final stage of leaf development and is finely regulated via a complex genetic regulatory network incorporating both developmental and environmental factors. In an effort to identify negative regulators of leaf senescence, we screened activation-tagged Arabidopsis lines for mutants that exhibit a delayed leaf senescence phenotype. One of the mutants (ore7-1D) showed a highly significant delay of leaf senescence in the heterozygous state, leading to at least a twofold increase in leaf longevity. The activated gene (ORE7/ESC) encoded a protein with an AT-hook DNA-binding motif; such proteins are known to co-regulate transcription of genes through modification of chromatin architecture. We showed that ORE7/ESC, in addition to binding to a plant AT-rich DNA fragment, could also modify the chromatin architecture, as illustrated by an altered distribution of a histone-GFP fusion protein in the nucleus of the mutant. Globally altered gene expression, shown by microarray analysis, also indicated that activation of ORE7/ESC results in a younger condition in the mutant leaves. We propose that ectopically expressed ORE7/ESC is negatively regulating leaf senescence and suggest that the resulting chromatin alteration may have a role in controlling leaf longevity. Interestingly, activation of ORE7/ESC also led to a highly extended post-harvest storage life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1153
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Journal
Volume52
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Dec 1

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Lim, P. O., Kim, Y., Breeze, E., Koo, J. C., Woo, H. R., Ryu, J. S., Park, D. H., Beynon, J., Tabrett, A., Buchanan-Wollaston, V., & Nam, H. G. (2007). Overexpression of a chromatin architecture-controlling AT-hook protein extends leaf longevity and increases the post-harvest storage life of plants. Plant Journal, 52(6), 1140-1153. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-313X.2007.03317.x