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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

LeMYC2 acts as a negative regulator of blue light mediated photomorphogenic growth, and promotes the growth of adult tomato plants

Nisha Gupta12, V Babu Rajendra Prasad1 and Sudip Chattopadhyay12*

Author Affiliations

1 National Institute of Plant Genome Research, New Delhi 110067, India

2 Department of Biotechnology, National Institute of Technology, Mahatma Gandhi Avenue, Durgapur 713209, India

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BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:38  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-38

Published: 31 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Arabidopsis ZBF1/MYC2bHLH transcription factor is a repressor of photomorphogenesis, and acts as a point of cross talk in light, abscisic acid (ABA) and jasmonic acid (JA) signaling pathways. MYC2 also functions as a positive regulator of lateral root development and flowering time under long day conditions. However, the function of MYC2 in growth and development remains unknown in crop plants.

Results

Here, we report the functional analyses of LeMYC2 in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum). The amino acid sequence of LeMYC2 showed extensive homology with Arabidopsis MYC2, containing the conserved bHLH domain. To study the function of LeMYC2 in tomato, overexpression and RNA interference (RNAi) LeMYC2 tomato transgenic plants were generated. Examination of seedling morphology, physiological responses and light regulated gene expression has revealed that LeMYC2 works as a negative regulator of blue light mediated photomorphogenesis. Furthermore, LeMYC2 specifically binds to the G-box of LeRBCS-3A promoter. Overexpression of LeMYC2 has led to increased root length with more number of lateral roots. The tomato plants overexpressing LeMYC2 have reduced internode distance with more branches, and display the opposite morphology to RNAi transgenic lines. Furthermore, this study shows that LeMYC2 promotes ABA and JA responsiveness.

Conclusions

Collectively, this study highlights that working in light, ABA and JA signaling pathways LeMYC2 works as an important regulator for growth and development in tomato plants.