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J Exp Bot. 2013 Nov;64(16):5075-84. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert296. Epub 2013 Sep 7.

A DELLA gene, RhGAI1, is a direct target of EIN3 and mediates ethylene-regulated rose petal cell expansion via repressing the expression of RhCesA2.

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Department of Ornamental Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


Ethylene plays an important role in organ growth. In Arabidopsis, ethylene can inhibit root elongation by stabilizing DELLA proteins. In previous work, it was found that ethylene suppressed cell expansion in rose petals, and five unisequences of DELLA genes are induced by ethylene. However, the mechanism of transcriptional regulation of DELLA genes by ethylene is still not clear. The results showed that the expression of RhGAI1 was induced in both ethylene-treated and ETR gene-silenced rose petals, and the promoter activity of RhGAI1 was strongly induced by RhEIN3-3 in Arabidopsis protoplasts. What is more, RhEIN3-3 could bind to the promoter of RhGAI1 directly in an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Cell expansion was suppressed in RhGAI1-Δ17-overexpressed Arabidopsis petals and promoted in RhGAI1-silenced rose petals. Moreover, in RhGAI1-silenced petals, the expression of nine cell expansion-related genes was clearly changed, and RhGAI1 can bind to the promoter of RhCesA2 in an EMSA. These results suggested that RhGAI1 was regulated by ethylene at the transcriptional level, and RhGAI1 was a direct target of RhEIN3-3. Also, RhGAI1 was shown to be involved in cell expansion partially through regulating the expression of cell expansion-related genes. Furthermore, RhCesA2 was a direct target of RhGAI1. This work uncovers the transcriptional regulation of RhGAI1 by ethylene and provides a better understanding of how ethylene regulates petal expansion in roses.


Cell expansion; RhGAI1; ethylene; petal; rose; transcriptional regulation.

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