Increased expression of ANAC017 primes for accelerated senescence

Martyna Broda, Kasim Khan, Brendan O'Leary, Adriana Pružinská, Chun Pong Lee, A Harvey Millar, Olivier Van Aken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) have reported conflicting roles for NAC DOMAIN CONTAINING PROTEIN 17 (ANAC017), a transcription factor regulating mitochondria-to-nuclear signalling, and its closest paralog NAC DOMAIN CONTAINING PROTEIN 16 (ANAC016), in leaf senescence. By synchronising senescence in individually darkened leaves of knock-out and overexpressing mutants from these contrasting studies, we demonstrate that elevated ANAC017 expression consistently causes accelerated senescence and cell death. A time-resolved transcriptome analysis revealed that senescence-associated pathways such as autophagy are not constitutively activated in ANAC017 overexpression lines, but require a senescence-stimulus to trigger accelerated induction. ANAC017 transcript and ANAC017-target genes are constitutively upregulated in ANAC017 overexpression lines, but surprisingly show a transient 'super-induction' one day after senescence-induction. This induction of ANAC017 and its target genes is observed during the later stages of age-related and dark induced senescence, indicating the ANAC017 pathway is also activated in natural senescence. In contrast, knockout mutants of ANAC017 showed lowered senescence-induced induction of ANAC017 target genes during the late stages of dark-induced senescence. Finally, promotor binding analyses show that the ANAC016 promoter sequence is directly bound by ANAC017, so ANAC016 likely acts downstream of ANAC017 and is directly transcriptionally controlled by ANAC017 in a feed-forward loop during late senescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to) 2205–2221
Number of pages17
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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