Light Modulates Ethylene Synthesis, Signaling, and Downstream Transcriptional Networks to Control Plant Development

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Authors Alexandria F. Harkey, Gyeong Mee Yoon, Dong Hye Seo, Alison DeLong, Gloria K. Munday
Journal/Conference Name Frontiers in Plant Science
Paper Category
Paper Abstract The inhibition of hypocotyl elongation by ethylene in dark-grown seedlings was the basis of elegant screens that identified ethylene-insensitive Arabidopsis mutants, which remained tall even when treated with high concentrations of ethylene. This simple approach proved invaluable for identification and molecular characterization of major players in the ethylene signaling and response pathway, including receptors and downstream signaling proteins, as well as transcription factors that mediate the extensive transcriptional remodeling observed in response to elevated ethylene. However, the dark-adapted early developmental stage used in these experiments represents only a small segment of a plant’s life cycle. After a seedling’s emergence from the soil, light signaling pathways elicit a switch in developmental programming and the hormonal circuitry that controls it. Accordingly, ethylene levels and responses diverge under these different environmental conditions. In this review, we compare and contrast ethylene synthesis, perception, and response in light and dark contexts, including the molecular mechanisms linking light responses to ethylene biology. One powerful method to identify similarities and differences in these important regulatory processes is through comparison of transcriptomic datasets resulting from manipulation of ethylene levels or signaling under varying light conditions. We performed a meta-analysis of multiple transcriptomic datasets to uncover transcriptional responses to ethylene that are both light-dependent and light-independent. We identified a core set of 139 transcripts with robust and consistent responses to elevated ethylene across three root-specific datasets. This “gold standard” group of ethylene-regulated transcripts includes mRNAs encoding numerous proteins that function in ethylene signaling and synthesis, but also reveals a number of previously uncharacterized gene products that may contribute to ethylene response phenotypes. Understanding these light-dependent differences in ethylene signaling and synthesis will provide greater insight into the roles of ethylene in growth and development across the entire plant life cycle.
Date of publication 2019
Code Programming Language HTML
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