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Molecular Plant

Year: 2010  |  Volume: 3  |  Issue: 6  |  Page No.: 1087 - 1103

Global Analysis of Direct Targets of Secondary Wall NAC Master Switches in Arabidopsis

R Zhong, C Lee and Z. H. Ye


We report the genome-wide analysis of direct target genes of SND1 and VND7, two Arabidopsis thaliana NAC domain transcription factors that are master regulators of secondary wall biosynthesis in fibers and vessels, respectively. Systematic mapping of the SND1 binding sequence using electrophoretic mobility shift assay and transactivation analysis demonstrated that SND1 together with other secondary wall NACs (SWNs), including VND6, VND7, NST1, and NST2, bind to an imperfect palindromic 19-bp consensus sequence designated as secondary wall NAC binding element (SNBE), (T/A)NN(C/T) (T/C/G)TNNNNNNNA(A/C)GN(A/C/T) (A/T), in the promoters of their direct targets. Genome-wide analysis of direct targets of SND1 and VND7 revealed that they directly activate the expression of not only downstream transcription factors, but also a number of non-transcription factor genes involved in secondary wall biosynthesis, cell wall modification, and programmed cell death, the promoters of which all contain multiple SNBE sites. SND1 and VND7 directly regulate the expression of a set of common targets but each of them also preferentially induces a distinct set of direct targets, which is likely attributed to their differential activation strength toward SNBE sites. Complementation study showed that the SWNs were able to rescue the secondary wall defect in the snd1 nst1 mutant, indicating that they are functionally interchangeable. Together, our results provide important insight into the complex transcriptional program and the evolutionary mechanism underlying secondary wall biosynthesis, cell wall modification, and programmed cell death in secondary wall-containing cell types.

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