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J Integr Plant Biol. 2015 Aug;57(8):708-21. doi: 10.1111/jipb.12320. Epub 2015 Feb 2.

Arabidopsis ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE3 is involved in nitrogen starvation-induced anthocyanin accumulation.

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College of Life Sciences, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, 010021, China.


Anthocyanin accumulation is a common phenomenon seen in plants under environmental stress. In this study, we identified a new allele of ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE3 (RHD3) showing an anthocyanin overaccumulation phenotype under nitrogen starvation conditions. It is known that ethylene negatively regulates light- and sucrose-induced anthocyanin biosynthesis. We hypothesized that RHD3 achieves its negative effect on anthocyanin biosynthesis via an ethylene-regulating pathway. In support of this, similar to rhd3 mutants, the Arabidopsis ethylene signaling mutants etr1, ein2, and ein3/eil1 showed an anthocyanin overaccumulation phenotype under nitrogen starvation conditions. The ethylene precursor ACC strongly suppressed anthocyanin accumulation, dependent on ETR1, EIN2, EIN3/EIL1, and, partially, RHD3. In addition, inactivating RHD3 partially reversed the suppressive effect of ETO1 inactivation-evoked endogenous ethylene production on anthocyanin accumulation. The expression of nitrogen starvation-induced anthocyanin biosynthesis genes was negatively regulated by RHD3, but ethylene response genes were positively regulated by RHD3. Wild-type seedlings overexpressing RHD3 showed similar phenotypes to rhd3 mutants, indicating the existence of a fine-tuned relationship between gene expression and function. RHD3 was initially identified as a gene involved in root hair development. This study uncovered a new physiological function of RHD3 in nitrogen starvation-induced anthocyanin accumulation and ethylene homeostasis. [Correction added on 6 August 2015, after first online publication: "RND3" corrected to "RHD3".].


Anthocyanin; ROOT HAIR DEFECTIVE3; ethylene signaling pathway

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