ZmGRF, a GA regulatory factor from maize, promotes flowering and plant growth in Arabidopsis
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Transcription factors that act as positive regulators of gibberellin (GA) biosynthetic genes in plants are not well understood. A nuclear-localized basic leucine zipper transcription factor, ZmGRF, was isolated from maize. The core DNA sequence motif recognized for binding by ZmGRF was CCANNTGGC. ZmGRF overexpression in transgenic Arabidopsis plants promoted flowering, stem elongation, and cell expansion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that ZmGRF bound directly to the cis-element CCANNTGGC in the promoter of the Arabidopsis ent-kaurene oxidase (AtKO1) gene and promoted AtKO1 expression. GA4 content increased by 372–567 % in transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing ZmGRF compared to wild-type control plants. The GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1 gene, which encodes a GA receptor, was also upregulated and the growth-repressing DELLA protein gene GA INSENSITIVE was downregulated. Our results showed ZmGRF functioned through the GA-signaling pathway.
KeywordsGA Flowering AtKO1 Arabidopsis bZIP transcription factor
We thank Dr Xiaoduo Lu (Department of Life Sciences, Qilu Normal University) for DIC microscopy analysis. This work was supported by the National High-Tech R&D Program (Grant No. 2012AA10A306), the National Key Basic Research Program (Grant No. 2014CB138200) and the National Special Program for Transgenic Research (2010ZX08010-002).
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