Abstract

 

MYB-type transcription factors (TFs) play important roles in plant growth and development, and in the rapid responses to unfavorable environmental conditions. We recently reported the isolation and characterization of a rice (Oryza sativa) MYB TF, OsMYB102, which is involved in the regulation of leaf senescence by downregulating abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis and the downstream signaling response. Based on the similarities of their sequences and expression patterns, OsMYB102 appears to be a homolog of the Arabidopsis thaliana AtMYB44 TF. Since AtMYB44 is a key regulator of leaf senescence and abiotic stress responses, it is important to examine whether AtMYB44 homologs in other plants also act similarly. Here, we generated transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing OsMYB102 (OsMYB102-OX). The OsMYB102-OX plants showed a delayed senescence phenotype during dark incubation and were more susceptible to salt and drought stresses, considerably similar to Arabidopsis plants overexpressing AtMYB44. Real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) revealed that, in addition to known senescence-associated genes, genes encoding the ABA catabolic enzymes AtCYP707A3 and AtCYP707A4 were also significantly upregulated in OsMYB102-OX, leading to a significant decrease in ABA accumulation. Furthermore, protoplast transient expression and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that OsMYB102 directly activated AtCYP707A3 expression. Based on our findings, it is probable that the regulatory functions of AtMYB44 homologs in plants are highly conserved and they have vital roles in leaf senescence and the abiotic stress responses.