ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR1 ( ERF1 ) is an upstream component in both jasmonate ( JA ) and ethylene ( ET ) signaling and is involved in pathogen resistance. Accumulating evidence suggests that ERF1 might be related to the salt stress response through ethylene signaling. However, the specific role of ERF1 in abiotic stress and the molecular mechanism underlying the signaling cross talk still need to be elucidated. Here, we report that ERF1 was highly induced by high salinity and drought stress in Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ). The salt stress induction required both JA and ET signaling but was inhibited by abscisic acid. ERF1 -overexpressing lines ( 35S : ERF1 ) were more tolerant to drought and salt stress. They also displayed constitutively smaller stomatal aperture and less transpirational water loss. Surprisingly, 35S : ERF1 also showed enhanced heat tolerance and up-regulation of heat tolerance genes compared with the wild type. Several suites of genes activated by JA , drought, salt, and heat were found in microarray analysis of 35S : ERF1 . Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays found that ERF1 up-regulates specific suites of genes in response to different abiotic stresses by stress-specific binding to GCC or DRE/CRT. In response to biotic stress, ERF1 bound to GCC boxes but not DRE elements; conversely, under abiotic stress, we observed specific binding of ERF1 to DRE elements. Furthermore, ERF1 bound preferentially to only one among several GCC box or DRE/CRT elements in the promoter region of its target genes. ERF1 plays a positive role in salt, drought, and heat stress tolerance by stress-specific gene regulation, which integrates JA , ET , and abscisic acid signals. Glossary ET ethylene JA jasmonate ABA abscisic acid RNAi RNA interference ChIP chromatin immunoprecipitation qRT quantitative reverse transcription MS Murashige and Skoog MeJA methyl jasmonate Col-0 Columbia
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