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PLoS One. 2014 Jun 11;9(6):e99234. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099234. eCollection 2014.

Responses of a triple mutant defective in three iron deficiency-induced Basic Helix-Loop-Helix genes of the subgroup Ib(2) to iron deficiency and salicylic acid.

Author information

1
Dept. Biosciences-Plant Biology, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.
2
Dept. Biosciences-Plant Biology, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany; Institute of Botany and Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS), Heinrich Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

Plants are sessile organisms that adapt to external stress by inducing molecular and physiological responses that serve to better cope with the adverse growth condition. Upon low supply of the micronutrient iron, plants actively increase the acquisition of soil iron into the root and its mobilization from internal stores. The subgroup Ib(2) BHLH genes function as regulators in this response, however their concrete functions are not fully understood. Here, we analyzed a triple loss of function mutant of BHLH39, BHLH100 and BHLH101 (3xbhlh mutant). We found that this mutant did not have any iron uptake phenotype if iron was provided. However, under iron deficiency the mutant displayed a more severe leaf chlorosis than the wild type. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis revealed that this mutant phenotype resulted in the mis-regulation of 198 genes, out of which only 15% were associated with iron deficiency regulation itself. A detailed analysis revealed potential targets of the bHLH transcription factors as well as genes reflecting an exaggerated iron deficiency response phenotype. Since the BHLH genes of this subgroup have been brought into the context of the plant hormone salicylic acid, we investigated whether the 3xbhlh mutant might have been affected by this plant signaling molecule. Although a very high number of genes responded to SA, also in a differential manner between mutant and wild type, we did not find any indication for an association of the BHLH gene functions in SA responses upon iron deficiency. In summary, our study indicates that the bHLH subgroup Ib(2) transcription factors do not only act in iron acquisition into roots but in other aspects of the adaptation to iron deficiency in roots and leaves.

PMID:
24919188
PMCID:
PMC4053374
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0099234
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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