In Arabidopsis, EARLY FLOWERING3 (ELF3) has pivotal roles in controlling circadian rhythm and photoperiodic flowering. In addition, ELF3 negatively regulates leaf senescence by repressing the transcription of PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR4 (PIF4) and PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR5 (PIF5); elf3 mutants senesce earlier and ELF3-overexpressing (ELF3-OX) plants senesce later than wild type (WT). Here, we show that in contrast to Arabidopsis ELF3, which represses senescence, the rice homolog OsELF3.1 promotes leaf senescence; oself3.1 mutants showed delayed senescence and OsELF3.1-OX plants senesced earlier under both dark-induced and natural senescence conditions. Microarray analysis revealed that in the senescing leaves, a number of senescence-associated genes, phytohormone-related genes, and NAC and WRKY family genes (OsNAP, ONAC106, and OsWRKY42) were differentially expressed in oself3.1 mutants compared with WT. Interestingly, we found that Arabidopsis plants overexpressing OsELF3.1 show delayed leaf senescence, produce short petioles, and flower late in long days, just like Arabidopsis ELF3-OX plants. This demonstrates that the regulatory functions of ELF3 and OsELF3.1 are conserved between Arabidopsis and rice, but the downstream regulatory cascades have opposite effects.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 5, 2016
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