Zinc finger protein 5 (ZFP5) associates with ethylene signaling to regulate the phosphate and potassium deficiency-induced root hair development in Arabidopsis

  • Linli Huang
  • Qining Jiang
  • Junyu Wu
  • Lijun An
  • Zhongjing Zhou
  • ChuiEng Wong
  • Minjie Wu
  • Hao Yu
  • Yinbo GanEmail author


Key Message

Zinc finger protein transcription factor ZFP5 positively regulates root hair elongation in response to Pi and potassium deficiency by mainly activating the expression of EIN2 in Arabidopsis.


Phosphate (Pi) and potassium (K+) are major plant nutrients required for plant growth and development, and plants respond to low-nutrient conditions via metabolic and morphology changes. The C2H2 transcription factor ZFP5 is a key regulator of trichome and root hair development in Arabidopsis. However, its role in regulating root hair development under nutrient deprivations remains unknown. Here, we show that Pi and potassium deficiency could not restore the short root hair phenotype of zfp5 mutant and ZFP5 RNAi lines to wild type level. The deprivation of either of these nutrients also induced the expression of ZFP5 and the activity of an ethylene reporter, pEBS:GUS. The significant reduction of root hair length in ein2-1 and ein3-1 as compared to wild-type under Pi and potassium deficiency supports the involvement of ethylene in root hair elongation. Furthermore, the application of 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC) significantly enhanced the expression level of ZFP5 while the application of 2-aminoethoxyvinyl glycine (AVG) had the opposite effect when either Pi or potassium was deprived. Further experiments reveal that ZFP5 mainly regulates transcription of ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE 2 (EIN2) to control deficiency-mediated root hair development through ethylene signaling. Generally, these results suggest that ZFP5 regulates root hair elongation by interacting with ethylene signaling mainly through regulates the expression of EIN2 in response to Pi and potassium deficiency in Arabidopsis.


ZFP5 Root hairs Pi deficiency Potassium deficiency Ethylene 



The research was funded by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31570183; 31529001; 31370215), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. LZ15C020001); Major State Basic Research Development Program (973 Program, Grant No. 2015CB150200).

Author contributions

LH and YG designed the study. LH, QJ, JW and LA performed experiment. LH, ZZ and MW analyzed the data. LH, CW, HY and YG wrote the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The original authors know to add an author Qining Jiang.

Supplementary material

11103_2019_937_MOESM1_ESM.docx (353 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 353 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and BiotechnologyZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesNorthwest A&F UniversityYanglingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Virology and BiotechnologyZhejiang Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouChina
  4. 4.Department of Biological Sciences and Temasek Life Sciences LaboratoryNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

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