Switch for regeneration and defense in plants

August 20, 2021

Transcription factor WIND also controls vascular regeneration and innate immunity

A joint research group of RIKEN CSRS, the University of Tokyo, Kobe University, Niigata University, Teikyo University, and Kyoto University of Advanced Science has discovered that transcription factor WIND plays important roles not only in callus induction at wound sites but also in vascular regeneration and acquisition of resistance against pathogens.

When plants are wounded, they undergo various physiological responses, such as tissue regeneration and defensive responses, but the existence of molecules that activate these responses in an integrated manner was not known.

WIND1, one of the transcription factors WINDs, has been shown to promote callus formation and shoot regeneration in response to injury stress. In this study, the research group use Arabidopsis to comprehensively examine the genes that increase expression levels by WIND1. As a result, they found that not only genes involved in regeneration but also genes associated with the vascular formation and defense response were upregulated. In addition, suppression of the function of WIND1 and other WINDs (WIND2, WIND3, and WIND4) weakened the vascular reformation and resistance against pathogen infection in grafted plants, indicating that WIND transcription factors indeed orchestrate wound repair and defense responses.

The findings of this research are expected to lead to useful technical developments that contribute to sustainable food and biomass production by plants, such as increased production and breeding using tissue culture techniques, increasing efficiency of grafting, and imparting disease resistances.

Original article
New Phytologist doi:10.1111/nph.17594
A. Iwase, Y. Kondo, A. Laohavisit, A. Takebayashi, M. Ikeuchi, K. Matsuoka, M. Asahina, N. Mitsuda, K. Shirasu, H. Fukuda, K. Sugimoto,
"WIND transcription factors orchestrate wound-induced callus formation, vascular reconnection and defense response in Arabidopsis".
Akira Iwase; Senior Scientist
Keiko Sugimoto; Team Leader
Cell Function Research Team