, Volume 222, Issue 3, pp 494–501 | Cite as

Expressing TERF1 in tobacco enhances drought tolerance and abscisic acid sensitivity during seedling development

  • Xiulin Zhang
  • Zhijin Zhang
  • Jia Chen
  • Qi Chen
  • Xue-Chen Wang
  • Rongfeng Huang
Original Article


Previously, we reported on a tomato ERF transcription activator, TERF1, which was concluded to act as a linker between ethylene and osmotic signal pathways. We now report on the regulatory role of TERF1 in ABA sensitivity and drought response during seedling development. Northern blotting analysis indicated that the transcripts of TERF1 were significantly accumulated in response to drought, cold and ABA. TERF1 activated GCC box- or DRE-driven reporter gene expression in transient expression assay, subsequently increasing the tolerance to drought and the osmoticum, PEG6000, in tobacco expressing TERF1. Further tests showed that TERF1 did not affect the seed germination, but greatly enhanced the sensitivity during tobacco seedling development under ABA treatment. This ABA hypersensitivity in transgenic TERF1 tobacco is both indirect ethylene action and expressions of ABA responsive genes, demonstrating that TERF1 is a multifunctional ERF protein that can integrate different stress signal pathways.


ABA Drought tolerance ERF proteins Osmotic stress Tomato transcription factor TERF1 



Abscisic acid


Dehydrate response element


Electrophoresis mobility shift assay


Ethylene responsive factor




Jasmonic acid


Murashige and Skoog


Overexpressing TERF1 in tobacco




Tomato ethylene responsive factor 1


Wild types



We thank Professor Clive W. Lloyd for his careful reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by Special Foundation of Transgenic Plants in China (JY2004A01), the Major State Basic Research program of China (to R. Huang and 2003CB114307), and the National Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 30471047 and 30470920).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiulin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhijin Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jia Chen
    • 1
  • Qi Chen
    • 2
  • Xue-Chen Wang
    • 1
  • Rongfeng Huang
    • 2
  1. 1.National Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Biological SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Biotechnology Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Grand Engineering of Crop Gene Resources and Gene ImprovementNational Plant Gene Research Center (Beijing)BeijingChina

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