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NF-Y transcription factor complex regulates plant defence

The nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) transcription factor complex is important in plant growth, development and stress response. Information regarding this transcription factor complex is limited in cassava (Manihot esculenta). In this study, 15 MeNF-YAs, 21 MeNF-YBs and 15 MeNF-YCs were comprehensively characterized during plant defence.

Image: Canva.

The regulation of MeNF-Ys in response to Xam indicated their possible roles in response to cassava bacterial blight. Protein–protein interaction assays identified the heterotrimeric NF-Y transcription factor complex (MeNF-YA1/3, MeNF-YB11/16 and MeNF-YC11/12). Moreover, the members of the heterotrimeric NF-Y transcription factor complex were located in the cell nucleus and conferred transcriptional activation activity to the CCAAT motif. Notably, the heterotrimeric NF-Y transcription factor complex positively regulated plant disease resistance to Xam, confirmed by a disease phenotype in overexpressing plants in Nicotiana benthamiana and VIGS in cassava. Consistently, the heterotrimeric NF-Y transcription factor complex positively regulated the expression of pathogenesis-related genes (MePRs).

He et al. conclude that the NF-Y transcription factor complex (MeNF-YA1/3, MeNF-YB11/16 and MeNF-YC11/12) characterized here was shown to play a role in transcriptional activation of MePR promoters, contributing to the plant defence response in cassava.

Written by Alex Assiry

Alex Assiry is an editorial assistant in the Annals of Botany Office. When not working, Alex listens for the opportunity to help.

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