Memory responses of jasmonic acid-associated Arabidopsis genes to a repeated dehydration stress

Ning Liu, Paul E. Staswick, Zoya Avramova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Dehydration stress activates numerous genes co-regulated by diverse signaling pathways. Upon repeated exposures, however, a subset of these genes does not respond maintaining instead transcription at their initial pre-stressed levels (‘revised-response’ genes). Most of these genes are involved in jasmonic acid (JA) biosynthesis, JA-signaling and JA-mediated stress responses. How these JA-associated genes are regulated to provide different responses to similar dehydration stresses is an enigma. Here, we investigate molecular mechanisms that contribute to this transcriptional behavior. The memory-mechanism is stress-specific: one exposure to dehydration stress or to abscisic acid (ABA) is required to prevent transcription in the second. Both ABA-mediated and JA-mediated pathways are critical for the activation of these genes, but the two signaling pathways interact differently during a single or multiple encounters with dehydration stress. Synthesis of JA during the first (S1) but not the second dehydration stress (S2) accounts for the altered transcriptional responses. We propose a model for these memory responses, wherein lack of MYC2 and of JA synthesis in S2 is responsible for the lack of expression of downstream genes. The similar length of the memory displayed by different memory-type genes suggests biological relevance for transcriptional memory as a gene-regulating mechanism during recurring bouts of drought.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2515-2529
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Cell and Environment
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • ABA
  • MYC2
  • dehydration stress
  • jasmonic acid
  • transcription memory genes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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