GBF1 differentially regulates CAT2 and PAD4 transcription to promote pathogen defense in Arabidopsis thaliana
G‐BOX BINDING FACTOR 1 (GBF1) influences light‐regulated seedling development in Arabidopsis, and inhibits CATALASE 2 (CAT2) expression during senescence. CAT2 functions as a scavenger of hydrogen peroxide. The role of GBF1 in the defense response is not known. We report here that GBF1 positively influences the defense against virulent and avirulent strains of Pseudomonas syringae. The gbf1 mutants are susceptible, whereas GBF1 over‐expresser transgenic plants are resistant to bacterial pathogens. GBF1 negatively regulates pathogen‐induced CAT2 expression and thereby positively regulates the hypersensitive response. In addition to CAT2 promoter, GBF1 binds to the G‐box‐like element present in the intron of PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT 4 (PAD4). This association of GBF1 with PAD4 intron is enhanced upon pathogenesis. GBF1 positively regulates PAD4 transcription in an intron‐dependent manner. GBF1‐mediated positive regulation of PAD4 expression is also evident in gbf1 mutant and GBF1 over‐expression lines. Similar to pad4 mutants, pathogen‐induced camalexin and salicylic acid (SA) accumulation, and expression of SA‐inducible PATHOGENESIS RELATED1 (PR1) gene are compromised in the gbf1 mutant. Exogenous application of SA rescues the loss‐of‐defense phenotypes of gbf1 mutant. Thus, altogether, our results demonstrate that GBF1 is an important component of the plant defense response that functions upstream of SA accumulation and, by oppositely regulating CAT2 and PAD4, promotes disease resistance in Arabidopsis.
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