June, 2021, Dhaka. GNOBB expresses heartiest Congratulations to Prof Enamul Huq's research team at the University of Texas at Austin. Their work on the identification of 2 tissue-specific transcription factors that regulate thermomorphogenesis has been published in the Nature Communication Journal, GNOBB followers might recall that he presented a part of this study in his seminar in the GNOBB lecture series.
Most of the current understandings on thermomorphogenesis or the morphological changes in plants due to high ambient temperature are still focused on the above-ground tissues (e.g., hypocotyl and petiole elongation, flowering time etc.). The group showed that a key transcription factor named ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL 5 (HY5) plays a major role in root thermomorphogenesis. Root is a belowground tissue and this spatial specificity of the transcription factor is significant. Transcription factors are a kind of master regulator that helps the RNA polymerase to transcribe the RNA from the DNA. The team observed that the expression and stability of PIF4 and HY5 are regulated by high ambient temperature and showed different responses in different tissues. Another enzyme family called SPA kinases are necessary to stabilize both PIF4 and HY5 to regulate thermomorphogenesis in tissue-specific manner.
Prof Enamul and his team work on how plants sense and respond to environmental light conditions. This finding suggests that plants employ separate transcription factors for regulating thermomorphogenesis in a tissue-specific style. Previously it was found that PIF4-SPA module plays a major role in hypocotyl elongation (aboveground tissue) HY5-SPA module plays the pivotal role in regulating root thermomorphogenesis. The PIFs-HY5-SPA module regulates hypocotyl thickness in response to high ambient temperature. The article can be accessed through the journal website. The link to the article is https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-24018-7