Journal of Plant Research

, Volume 125, Issue 3, pp 429–438 | Cite as

The Arabidopsis AtbZIP1 transcription factor is a positive regulator of plant tolerance to salt, osmotic and drought stresses

  • Xiaoli Sun
  • Yong Li
  • Hua Cai
  • Xi Bai
  • Wei Ji
  • Xiaodong DingEmail author
  • Yanming ZhuEmail author
Regular Paper


According to the AtGenExpress transcriptome data sets, AtbZIP1 is an Arabidopsis gene induced by several abiotic stresses, such as salt, cold and drought. Here, we isolated AtbZIP1, and used semi-quantitative reverse transcription-PCR to verify that AtbZIP1 expression was indeed significantly induced by salt, osmotic, and cold stresses in Arabidopsis. AtbZIP1 knockout mutants showed a reduced tolerance to salt and osmotic stresses, coinciding with a suppression of the expression of several stress-responsive genes, such as COR15A, RD17 and RD29A. Consistently, the restoration of AtbZIP1 in the knockout lines restored the plants ability to tolerate salt and osmotic stresses. Furthermore, overexpressing AtbZIP1 in the wild type Arabidopsis resulted in an enhanced tolerance to salt and drought stresses. Sequence analysis shows that AtbZIP1 belongs to the S subfamily of basic leucine zipper transcription factors (TFs). The transient expression of green fluorescent protein-AtbZIP1 in tobacco leaf cells showed that AtbZIP1 localizes in nuclei. A transactivation assay further suggested that AtbZIP1 functions as a transcriptional activator in yeast and the two protein motifs (aa 13–38 and 92–118) are indispensable for transactivation activity. These results indicate that the TF AtbZIP1 is a positive regulator of plant tolerance to salt, osmotic, and drought stresses.


Arabidopsis AtbZIP1 Drought stress Osmotic stress Salt stress 



We would like to thank Drs. Wenyuan Song, Yoshichika Kitagawa and Meghan Hennis for the critical reading of the manuscript and invaluable comments on the work, and NASC for the seeds of SALK_069498C and SALK_059343. This project was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (30570990), the National Major Project for Cultivation of Transgenic Crops (20082x08004), the Key Research Plan of Heilongjiang Province (GA06B103), and the Innovation Research Group of NEAU.

Supplementary material

10265_2011_448_MOESM1_ESM.tif (635 kb)
Supplemental Figure 1 Sequence analysis of the AtbZIP1 gene. a A schematic showing the construction of AtbZIP1, including three subdomains: upstream open-reading-frames (uORF), basic region (BR) and leucine zipper (LZ). Sequence of the upstream open-reading-frames (uORF) of AtbZIP1 was shown. b The alignment of AtbZIP1 and other proteins of S subfamily using CLUSTAL X. ‘‘*’’ indicates positions which have a single, fully conserved residue; ‘‘:’’ indicates highly conserved positions, and dashes (---) indicate gaps in the amino acid sequences. The column show the score of the conservation positions, and the line marked shows the basic region (BR) and leucine zipper (LZ) (TIFF 634 kb)
10265_2011_448_MOESM2_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Supplementary Table S1 (DOC 28 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan and Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Plant Bioengineering LaboratoryNortheast Agricultural UniversityHarbinChina
  2. 2.Department of NeurologyThe University of Texas Southwestern Medical CenterDallasUSA

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