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Identification and Characterization of ANAC042, a Transcription Factor Family Gene Involved in the Regulation of Camalexin Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis

May 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  5
Pages  684 - 696

Hirohisa Saga,1 Takumi Ogawa,1 Kosuke Kai,1 Hideyuki Suzuki,2 Yoshiyuki Ogata,2 Nozomu Sakurai,2 Daisuke Shibata,2 and Daisaku Ohta1

1Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Osaka 599-8531, Japan; 2Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Kisarazu, Chiba 292-0818, Japan

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Accepted 12 January 2012.

Camalexin is the major phytoalexin in Arabidopsis. An almost complete set of camalexin biosynthetic enzymes have been elucidated but only limited information is available regarding molecular mechanisms regulating camalexin biosynthesis. Here, we demonstrate that ANAC042, a member of the NAM, ATAF1/2, and CUC2 (NAC) transcription factor family genes, is involved in camalexin biosynthesis induction. T-DNA insertion mutants of ANAC042 failed to accumulate camalexin at the levels achieved in the wild type, and were highly susceptible to Alternaria brassicicola infection. The camalexin biosynthetic genes CYP71A12, CYP71A13, and CYP71B15/PAD3 were not fully induced in the mutants, indicating that the camalexin defects were at least partly a result of reduced expression levels of these P450 genes. β-Glucuronidase (GUS)-reporter assays demonstrated tissue-specific induction of ANAC042 in response to differential pathogen infections. Bacterial flagellin (Flg22) induced ANAC042 expression in the root-elongation zone, the camalexin biosynthetic site, and the induction was abolished in the presence of either a general kinase inhibitor (K252a), a Ca2+-chelator (BAPTA), or methyl jasmonate. The GUS-reporter assay revealed repression of the Flg22-dependent ANAC042 expression in the ethylene-insensitive ein2-1 background but not in sid2-2 plants defective for salicylic acid biosynthesis. We discuss ANAC042 as a key transcription factor involved in previously unknown regulatory mechanisms to induce phytoalexin biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society