Plants have developed a complex system that when exposed to extreme
environments such as hot temperatures, their energy is diverted towards
survival instead of being used for growth. Scientists from Nara Institute of
Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan reported that two transcription
factors, ANAC044 and ANACO85, are vital in such mechanism in Arabidopsis,
and this provides clues on how to modulate growth of important agricultural
crops. The results of their study is published in eLife.
In previous studies, NAIST Professor Masaaki Umeda and team reported that
SOG1 is activated by DNA damage and regulates almost all
induced by the damage, while Rep-MYBs are stabilized in DNA damage
conditions to suppress cell division. In the latest study, Umeda's research
team shows that ANAC044 and ANAC085 act as a bridge between SOG1 and
Rep-MYB. They found that ANAC044 and ANAC085 are essential for root growth
retardation and stem cell death, but not for DNA repair. Specifically,
ANAC044 and ANAC085 were responsible for preventing the cell cycle from
proceeding from G2 phase to mitosis in response to the DNA damage. This
implies that ANAC044 and ANAC085 serve as gatekeepers in the progression
from the G2 phase in the cell cycle under abiotic stress conditions.
The study shows a new mechanism that optimizes organ growth under stressful
conditions. Thus, the researchers recommend other scientists to consider
ANAC044 and ANAC085 in increasing plant productivity.