Role of NAC transcription factors in plant senescence

Transcription factors of the NAC family play an important role for the regulation of senescence, however, the molecular mechanisms through which they control this process are only vaguely known for most of them. The current proposal addresses the functional analysis of the regulation of senescence by the Arabidopsis thaliana transcription factor SHYG. Like the recently reported NAC transcription factor JUB1, expression of SHYG is rapidly stimulated by treatment with hydrogen peroxide; however, in contrast to JUB1 it positively regulates senescence. SHYG is induced during developmental and N starvation-induced senescence and thus represents a particularly interesting candidate for further functional studies within the frame of the FOR. Recently, we discovered two likely downstream targets of SHYG, one that affects ethylene biosynthesis and one that has an impact on hydrogen peroxide formation. The proposed work includes the detailed functional analysis of the novel regulatory cascade for senescence as well as the further decoding of the gene regulatory network of SHYG. Additional work aims at modifying N starvation-induced senescence in Brassica napus by taking into account knowledge gained on senescence regulatory transcription factors during the first funding period of the FOR. The proposal includes a wider bio-computational interrogation or the gene regulatory networks of N-controlled senescence in plants, in collaboration with partners in the FOR.

Insitute of Biochemistry and Biology Potsdam
University of Potsdam, Germany

Prof. Dr. Bernd Müller-Röber
Dr. Salma Balazadeh
Dr. Sebastian Proost
Mamoona Rauf

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