Mitochondrial and chloroplast stress responses are modulated in distinct touch and chemical inhibition phases

Olivier Van Aken, I. De Clercq, Aneta Ivanova, S.R. Law, F. Van Breusegem, Harvey Millar, J. Whelan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.Previous studies have identified a range of transcription factors that modulate retrograde regulation of mitochondrial and chloroplast functions in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, the relative importance of these regulators and whether they act downstream of separate or overlapping signaling cascades is still unclear. Here, we demonstrate that multiple stressrelated signaling pathways, with distinct kinetic signatures, converge on overlapping gene sets involved in energy organelle function. The transcription factor ANAC017 is almost solely responsible for transcript induction of marker genes around 3 to 6 h after chemical inhibition of organelle function and is a key regulator of mitochondrial and specific types of chloroplast retrograde signaling. However, an independent and highly transient gene expression phase, initiated within 10 to 30 min after treatment, also targets energy organelle functions, and is related to touch and wounding responses. Metabolite analysis demonstrates that this early response is concurrent with rapid changes in tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and large changes in transcript abundance of genes encoding mitochondrial dicarboxylate carrier proteins. It was further demonstrated that transcription factors AtWRKY15 and AtWRKY40 have repressive regulatory roles in this touch-responsive gene expression. Together, our results show that several regulatory systems can independently affect energy organelle function in response to stress, providing different means to exert operational control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2150-2165
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


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