Biologia Plantarum

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 428–438 | Cite as

Gene expression analysis reveals function of TERF1 in plastid-nucleus retrograde signaling under drought stress conditions

  • W. Wu
  • L.-L. Liu
  • T. Yang
  • J.-H. Wang
  • J.-Y. Wang
  • P. Lv
  • Y.-C. Yan
Original paper


Ethylene response factor (ERF) is a key transcription factor of plant ethylene signaling pathway, which plays an important role in plant response to abiotic and biotic stresses by regulating the expression of downstream genes. However, little is known about the mechanisms of the regulation of gene expression by ERF proteins. Chloroplast is an essential organelle that is important for photosynthesis and biosynthesis of many essential metabolites. There exists an interaction between chloroplasts and the nucleus. Chloroplasts can send multiple kinds of signals to regulate the nuclear gene expression known as retrograde signaling. In our study, we have analyzed the expression of the components related to plastid retrograde signaling pathway to elucidate the mechanism of tomato ethylene responsive factor 1 (TERF1) in response to drought stress. Our results showed that TERF1 can regulate different biogenic and operational retrograde signals to regulate nuclear genes expression, which can improve plant tolerance to drought stress. We also propose a new potential of TERF1 in regulating nuclear gene expression, including regulation of different phytohormone signaling pathways and gene posttranscriptional modification triggered by different retrograde signals. Our results have enriched our knowledge about the function of ERF proteins and ethylene signaling pathway.

Additional key words

chloroplast-nucleus interactions ethylene response factor Solanum lycopersicum tomato 



12-oxophyto-dienoic acid


abscisic acid


ABA insensitive 4


allene oxide synthase


chloroplast sensor kinase


ethylene response factor


golden 2-like


genomes uncoupled


hydroxyperoxide lyase


jasmonic acid


methylene blue sensitivity


3’-phosphoadenosine 5’-phosphate


plastid-encoded plastid RNA polymerase


photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes


plastid redox-associated nuclear genes


plastid redox insensitive 2




reactive oxygen species


RNA polymerase of the phage T3/T7 type in plastid


RNA polymerase of the phage T3/T7 type in plastid and mitochondria


salicylic acid


sigma factors


tomato ethylene responsive factor 1




5'-3' exoribonuclease


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Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Institute of Experimental Botany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Wu
    • 1
  • L.-L. Liu
    • 1
  • T. Yang
    • 1
  • J.-H. Wang
    • 1
  • J.-Y. Wang
    • 1
  • P. Lv
    • 1
  • Y.-C. Yan
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate SchoolChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingP.R. China

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