Function of a novel factor that protects endoplasmic reticulum from stress in plant cells

August 25, 2023

Expected to apply it to the technology to maintain crop productivity under climate change

A research group at the RIKEN CSRS clarified the function of a factor in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in plant cells crucial to respond to stress and maintain its function.

Plants, which cannot move freely, have various stress-responding mechanisms to maintain cell functions when exposed to harsh conditions. ER under stress, for example, cause abnormalities such as unfolded protein responses. The molecular mechanism of this response to ER stress in plants remains to be elucidated.

In this study, the researchers focused on the SMALLER TRICHOMES WITH VARIABLE BRANCHES (SVB) protein family in the model plant, Arabidopsis, hypothesizing that the two proteins, SVB and an SVB homolog, SVB-like (SVBL), are cooperatively involved in the ER stress response. They showed that the double mutant, in which both proteins are destroyed, is more vulnerable to ER stress than the wild type. They also suggested that SVB might respond to ER stress at the plant’s root and play a significant role underground in sensing harmful conditions, such as temperature rises and salt damage.

The results of this research would provide significant insights for developing technologies that maintain crop productivity against harmful conditions such as temperature increases and salt damage, which are known to cause ER stress.

Original article
Journal of Experimental Botany doi: 10.1093/jxb/erad296
C.-Y. Yu, Y. Nakamura,
"SMALLER TRICHOMES WITH VARIABLE BRANCHES (SVB) and its homolog SVBL act downstream of transcription factor NAC089 and function redundantly in Arabidopsis unfolded protein response".
Yuki Nakamura
Team Leader
Plant Lipid Research Team