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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Dec 4;109(49):20113-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1217516109. Epub 2012 Nov 19.

AtWRKY15 perturbation abolishes the mitochondrial stress response that steers osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Gent, Belgium.


Environmental stresses adversely affect plant growth and development. A common theme within these adverse conditions is the perturbation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis. Here, we demonstrate that the ROS-inducible Arabidopsis thaliana WRKY15 transcription factor (AtWRKY15) modulates plant growth and salt/osmotic stress responses. By transcriptome profiling, a divergent stress response was identified in transgenic WRKY15-overexpressing plants that linked a stimulated endoplasmic reticulum-to-nucleus communication to a disrupted mitochondrial stress response under salt-stress conditions. We show that mitochondrial calcium-flux sensing might be important for regulating an active mitochondrial retrograde signaling and launching an appropriate defense response to confer salt-stress tolerance.

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