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Open Access Research article

ENHANCING CTR1-10 ETHYLENE RESPONSE2 is a novel allele involved in CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE-RESPONSE1-mediated ethylene receptor signaling in Arabidopsis

Aibei Xu, Wei Zhang and Chi-Kuang Wen*

Author Affiliations

National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics and National Center for Plant Gene Research (Shanghai), Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Rd, Shanghai 200032, China

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BMC Plant Biology 2014, 14:48  doi:10.1186/1471-2229-14-48

Published: 15 February 2014

Abstract

Background

The signal output of ethylene receptor family members is mediated by unknown mechanisms to activate the Raf-like protein CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE1 (CTR1) in negatively regulating ethylene signaling. The physical interaction between the ethylene receptor histidine kinase (HK) domain and CTR1 N terminus is essential to the CTR1-mediated receptor signal output. To advance our knowledge of the involvement of CTR1-mediated ethylene receptor signaling, we performed a genetic screen for mutations that enhanced the constitutive ethylene response in the weak ctr1-10 allele.

Results

We isolated a loss-of-function allele of ENHANCING ctr1-10 ETHYLENE RESPONSE2 (ECR2) and found that ecr2-1 ctr1-10 and the strong allele ctr1-1 conferred a similar, typical constitutive ethylene response phenotype. Genetic analyses and transformation studies suggested that ECR2 acts downstream of the ethylene receptors and upstream of the transcription factors ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3) and EIN3-LIKE1 (EIL1), which direct the expression of ethylene response genes. Signal output by the N terminus of the ethylene receptor ETHYLENE RESPONSE1 (ETR1) can be mediated by a pathway independent of CTR1. Expression of the N terminus of the ethylene-insensitive etr1-1 but not the full-length isoform rescued the ecr2-1 ctr1-10 phenotype, which indicates the involvement of ECR2 in CTR1-mediated but not -independent, ethylene receptor signaling. ECR2 was mapped to the centromere region on chromosome 2. With incomplete sequence and annotation information and rare chromosome recombination events in this region, the cloning of ECR2 is challenging and still in progress.

Conclusions

ECR2 is a novel allele involved in the ethylene receptor signaling that is mediated by CTR1. CTR1 activation by ethylene receptors may require ECR2 for suppressing the ethylene response.

Keywords:
Arabidopsis; Ethylene signaling; CTR1; ETR1; ECR2