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Regulation of a cytochrome P450 gene CYP94B1 by WRKY33 transcription factor controls apoplastic barrier formation in roots to confer salt tolerance.

  • Krishnamurthy, Pannaga1
  • Vishal, Bhushan1
  • Ho, Wan Jing1
  • Lok, Felicia Chien Joo1
  • Lee, Felicia Si Min1
  • Kumar, Prakash P2
  • 1 The National University of Singapore CITY: Singapore STATE: Singapore Singapore [SG]. , (Singapore)
  • 2 The National University of Singapore CITY: Singapore POSTAL_CODE: 117543 Singapore [SG] [email protected] , (Singapore)
Published Article
Plant physiology
Publication Date
Sep 14, 2020
DOI: 10.1104/pp.20.01054
PMID: 32928900


Salinity is an environmental stress that causes decline in crop yield. Avicennia officinalis and other mangroves have adaptations such as ultrafiltration at the roots aided by apoplastic cell-wall barriers to thrive in saline conditions. We studied a Cytochrome P450 gene from A. officinalis, AoCYP94B1, and its putative ortholog in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), AtCYP94B1, which are involved in apoplastic barrier formation. Both genes were induced by 30 minutes of salt treatment in the roots. Heterologous expression of AoCYP94B1 in the atcyp94b1 Arabidopsis mutant and wild-type rice (Oryza sativa) conferred increased NaCl tolerance to seedlings by enhancing root suberin deposition. Histochemical staining and GC-MS/MS quantification of suberin precursors confirmed the role of CYP94B1 in suberin biosynthesis. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, yeast one-hybrid and luciferase assays, we identified AtWRKY33 as the upstream regulator of AtCYP94B1 in Arabidopsis. In addition, atwrky33 mutants exhibited reduced suberin and salt-sensitive phenotypes, which were rescued by expressing 35S::AtCYP94B1 in the atwrky33 background. This further confirmed that AtWRKY33-mediated regulation of AtCYP94B1 is part of the salt tolerance mechanism. Our findings may help efforts aimed at generating salt-tolerant crops. {copyright, serif} 2020 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.

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