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Modulation of heat shock factors accompanies salicylic acid-mediated potentiation of Hsp70 in tomato seedlings

Journal of Experimental Botany
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1093/jxb/ern075
  • Research Papers
  • Medicine


In plants, salicylic acid (SA) is a signalling molecule regulating disease resistance responses such as systemic acquired resistance (SAR) and the hypersensitive response (HR), and has been implicated in both basal and acquired thermotolerance. It has been shown that SA enhances heat-induced Hsp/Hsc70 accumulation in plants. To investigate the mechanism of how SA influences the heat shock response (HSR) in plants, tomato seedlings were treated with SA alone, heat shock, or a combination of both before analyses of hsp70 mRNA, heat shock factor (Hsf)–DNA binding, and gene expression of hsp70, hsfA1, hsfA2, and hsfB1. SA alone led to activation of Hsf–DNA binding, but not induction or transcription of hsp70 mRNA. SA had no significant effect on hsfA2 and hsfB1 gene expression, but potentiated the basal levels of hsfA1. In heat-shocked plants, Hsf–DNA binding was established, and increased hsfA1, hsfA2, and hsfB1 expression was followed by accumulation of Hsp70. SA plus heat shock showed enhanced Hsf–DNA binding, enhanced induction of hsp70 mRNA transcription, and gene expression of hsfA1, hsfA2, and hsfB1, resulting in potentiated levels of Hsp/Hsc70. Since increased hsp70 and hsf gene expression coincide with increased levels of Hsp70 accumulation, it is concluded that SA-mediated potentiation of Hsp70 is due to modulation of these Hsfs by SA. In our efforts to understand the role of Hsp70 in heat-related disease susceptibility, the degree of the complexity of the cross-talk between the pathways in which SA is involved, inter alia, the plant defence response, the HSR and thermotolerance, was further underscored.

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