Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 May 29;115(22):5810-5815. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1719491115. Epub 2018 May 14.

AtPep3 is a hormone-like peptide that plays a role in the salinity stress tolerance of plants.

Author information

Plant Genomic Network Research Team, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS), Yokohama, 230-0045 Kanagawa, Japan.
Center for Bioscience Research and Education, Utsunomiya University, Utsunomiya, 321-8505 Tochigi, Japan.
Biomacromolecules Research Team, RIKEN CSRS, Wako, 351-0198 Saitama, Japan.
Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, 599-8531 Osaka, Japan.
Department of Bioinformatics, Ritsumeikan University, Kusatsu, 525-8577 Shiga, Japan.
Gene Discovery Research Group, RIKEN CSRS, Yokohama, 230-0045 Kanagawa, Japan.
Synthetic Genomics Research Team, RIKEN CSRS, Yokohama, 230-0045 Kanagawa, Japan.
Plant Genomic Network Research Team, RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS), Yokohama, 230-0045 Kanagawa, Japan;
Kihara Institute for Biological Research, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, 244-0813 Kanagawa, Japan.
Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology, Kawaguchi, 332-0012 Saitama, Japan.
Plant Epigenome Regulation Laboratory, RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research (CPR), Wako, 351-0198 Saitama, Japan.
Gene Discovery Research Group, RIKEN CSRS, Yokohama, 230-0045 Kanagawa, Japan;
Department of Bioscience and Bioinformatics, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Iizuka, 820-8502 Fukuoka, Japan.


Peptides encoded by small coding genes play an important role in plant development, acting in a similar manner as phytohormones. Few hormone-like peptides, however, have been shown to play a role in abiotic stress tolerance. In the current study, 17 Arabidopsis genes coding for small peptides were found to be up-regulated in response to salinity stress. To identify peptides leading salinity stress tolerance, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing these small coding genes and assessed survivability and root growth under salinity stress conditions. Results indicated that 4 of the 17 overexpressed genes increased salinity stress tolerance. Further studies focused on AtPROPEP3, which was the most highly up-regulated gene under salinity stress. Treatment of plants with synthetic peptides encoded by AtPROPEP3 revealed that a C-terminal peptide fragment (AtPep3) inhibited the salt-induced bleaching of chlorophyll in seedlings. Conversely, knockdown AtPROPEP3 transgenic plants exhibited a hypersensitive phenotype under salinity stress, which was complemented by the AtPep3 peptide. This functional AtPep3 peptide region overlaps with an AtPep3 elicitor peptide that is related to the immune response of plants. Functional analyses with a receptor mutant of AtPep3 revealed that AtPep3 was recognized by the PEPR1 receptor and that it functions to increase salinity stress tolerance in plants. Collectively, these data indicate that AtPep3 plays a significant role in both salinity stress tolerance and immune response in Arabidopsis.


Arabidopsis; abiotic stress; peptide hormone; salt tolerance; small coding gene

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center