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PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e44005. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044005. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Brassica napus PHR1 gene encoding a MYB-like protein functions in response to phosphate starvation.

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Hubei Key Laboratory of Genetic Regulation and Integrative Biology, College of Life Sciences, Central China Normal University, Wuhan, China.


Phosphorus (P) is one of the essential nutrient elements for plant development. In this work, BnPHR1 encoding a MYB transcription activator was isolated from Brassica napus. The characterization of nuclear localization and transcription activation ability suggest BnPHR1 is a transcriptional activator. The tissue expression and histochemical assay showed that BnPHR1 was predominantly expressed in roots and modulated by exogenous Pi in transcriptional level in roots under Pi deficiency conditions. Furthermore, overexpression of BnPHR1 in both Arabidopsis and B. napus remarkably enhanced the expression of the Pi-starvation-induced genes including ATPT2 and BnPT2 encoding the high-affinity Pi transporter. Additionally, BnPHR1 can in vivo bind the promoter sequence of ATPT2 and BnPT2 in both Arabidopsis and B. napus. Possibly, due to the activation of ATPT2 and BnPT2, or even more high-affinity Pi transporters, the excessive Pi was accumulated in transgenic plants, resulting in the crucially Pi toxicity to cells and subsequently retarding plant growth. Given the data together, BnPHR1, as crucial regulator, is regulated by exogenous Pi and directly activates those genes, which promote the uptake and homeostasis of Pi for plant growth.

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