Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 98, Issue 6, pp 471–493 | Cite as

Picea wilsonii transcription factor NAC2 enhanced plant tolerance to abiotic stress and participated in RFCP1-regulated flowering time

  • Hehua Zhang
  • Xiaoyue Cui
  • Yuxiao Guo
  • Chaobing Luo
  • Lingyun ZhangEmail author


Key message

Picea wilsonii transcription factor PwNAC2 enhanced plant tolerance to salt and drought stress through multiple signaling pathway and interacted with PwRFCP1 to participate in flowering regulation.


NAC is one of the largest transcription factor families in plants, however, its role is not yet fully understood. Here, we identified a transcription factor PwNAC2 in Picea wilsonii, which localized in nucleus with transcriptional activity in C-terminal region and can form homodimer by itself. Expression analysis by real-time PCR showed that PwNAC2 was induced by multiple abiotic stresses and phytohormones stimuli. PwRFCP1 (Resemble-FCA-contain-PAT1 domain), an interaction protein of PwNAC2 was screened via yeast two hybrid. Luciferase complementation assay confirmed the interaction in vivo and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay showed the interaction in nucleus. PwNAC2 overexpression retarded Arabidopsis hypocotyls growth which is closely related to light, whereas promotion of hypocotyls growth by PwRFCP1 is independent on light. Under drought or salt treatment, overexpression of PwNAC2 in Arabidopsis showed more vigorous seed germination and significant tolerance for seedlings by ROS scavenging, reducing of membrane damage, slower water loss and increased stomatal closure. ABA or CBF-pathway marker genes were substantially higher in PwNAC2 transgenic Arabidopsis. Overexpression of PwRFCP1 promotes flowering in transgenic Arabidopsis, whereas PwNAC2 delayed flowering by altering the expression of FT, SOC1 and FLC. In addtioin, PwRFCP1 overexpression plants showed no higher tolerance to stress treatment than Col-0. Collectively, our results indicate that PwNAC2 enhanced plant tolerance to abiotic stress through multiple signaling pathways and participated in PwRFCP1-regulated flowering time.


Picea wilsonii Transcription factor PwNAC2 PwRFCP1 Abiotic stress Flowering time 



We thank Professor Dapeng Zhang (College of life sciences, Tsinghua University) for providing the PCM1205 and PBI121 vectors.

Author contributions

Hehua Zhang performed the experiments and wrote the manuscript; Xiaoyue Cui and Yuxiao Guo revised the manuscript; Chaobing Luo cloned PwNAC2 gene; Lingyun Zhang designed the experiment and revised the manuscript.


This work was supported by the grant from Agricultural Ministry of China (Grant No. 2016ZX08009-003-002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

11103_2018_792_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3806 KB)
11103_2018_792_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (138 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 138 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hehua Zhang
    • 1
  • Xiaoyue Cui
    • 1
  • Yuxiao Guo
    • 1
  • Chaobing Luo
    • 1
  • Lingyun Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Forest Silviculture and Conservation of the Ministry of EducationBeijing Forestry UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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