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Mol Plant Microbe Interact. 2012 May;25(5):684-96. doi: 10.1094/MPMI-09-11-0244.

Identification and characterization of ANAC042, a transcription factor family gene involved in the regulation of camalexin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.

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Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531, Japan.


Camalexin is the major phytoalexin in Arabidopsis. An almost complete set of camalexin biosynthetic enzymes have been elucidated but only limited information is available regarding molecular mechanisms regulating camalexin biosynthesis. Here, we demonstrate that ANAC042, a member of the NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2 (NAC) transcription factor family genes, is involved in camalexin biosynthesis induction. T-DNA insertion mutants of ANAC042 failed to accumulate camalexin at the levels achieved in the wild type, and were highly susceptible to Alternaria brassicicola infection. The camalexin biosynthetic genes CYP71A12, CYP71A13, and CYP71B15/PAD3 were not fully induced in the mutants, indicating that the camalexin defects were at least partly a result of reduced expression levels of these P450 genes. β-Glucuronidase (GUS)-reporter assays demonstrated tissue-specific induction of ANAC042 in response to differential pathogen infections. Bacterial flagellin (Flg22) induced ANAC042 expression in the root-elongation zone, the camalexin biosynthetic site, and the induction was abolished in the presence of either a general kinase inhibitor (K252a), a Ca(2+)-chelator (BAPTA), or methyl jasmonate. The GUS-reporter assay revealed repression of the Flg22-dependent ANAC042 expression in the ethylene-insensitive ein2-1 background but not in sid2-2 plants defective for salicylic acid biosynthesis. We discuss ANAC042 as a key transcription factor involved in previously unknown regulatory mechanisms to induce phytoalexin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.

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