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Plant Cell. 2003 Jan;15(1):165-78.

ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR1 integrates signals from ethylene and jasmonate pathways in plant defense.

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Departamento de Genética Molecular de Plantas, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Campus Universidad Autónoma, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Cross-talk between ethylene and jasmonate signaling pathways determines the activation of a set of defense responses against pathogens and herbivores. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this cross-talk are poorly understood. Here, we show that ethylene and jasmonate pathways converge in the transcriptional activation of ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR1 (ERF1), which encodes a transcription factor that regulates the expression of pathogen response genes that prevent disease progression. The expression of ERF1 can be activated rapidly by ethylene or jasmonate and can be activated synergistically by both hormones. In addition, both signaling pathways are required simultaneously to activate ERF1, because mutations that block any of them prevent ERF1 induction by any of these hormones either alone or in combination. Furthermore, 35S:ERF1 expression can rescue the defense response defects of coi1 (coronative insensitive1) and ein2 (ethylene insensitive2); therefore, it is a likely downstream component of both ethylene and jasmonate signaling pathways. Transcriptome analysis in Col;35S:ERF1 transgenic plants and ethylene/jasmonate-treated wild-type plants further supports the notion that ERF1 regulates in vivo the expression of a large number of genes responsive to both ethylene and jasmonate. These results suggest that ERF1 acts downstream of the intersection between ethylene and jasmonate pathways and suggest that this transcription factor is a key element in the integration of both signals for the regulation of defense response genes.

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