An Arabidopsis cDNA (Atmyb2) that contains a sequence that encodes a transcription factor, which is a homolog of MYB, was cloned from a cDNA library prepared from dehydrated Arabidopsis rosette plants. A gene (Atmyb2) corresponding to the Atmyb2 cDNA was also cloned and its nucleotide sequence was determined. RNA gel blot analysis showed that the Atmyb2 mRNA was induced by dehydration and disappeared upon rehydration. The Atmyb2 mRNA also accumulated upon salt stress and with the onset of treatment with abscisic acid. A beta-glucuronidase reporter gene driven by the Atmyb2 promoter was induced by dehydration and salt stress in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. These observations indicate that Atmyb2 is responsive to dehydration at the transcriptional level. The putative protein (ATMYB2) encoded by Atmyb2 has 274 amino acids, a molecular mass of 32 kD, and a putative DNA binding domain that shows considerable homology to plant MYB-related proteins, such as maize C1. A fusion protein that included ATMYB2 was expressed in Escherichia coli, and it bound specifically to oligonucleotides that contained a consensus MYB recognition sequence (TAACTG), such as is found in the simian virus 40 enhancer and the maize bronze-1 promoter. Binding was sequence specific, as indicated by a gel mobility shift experiment. These results suggest that a MYB-related transcription factor is involved in the regulation of genes that are responsive to water stress in Arabidopsis.
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