Heat shock factors HsfB1 and HsfB2b are involved in the regulation of Pdf1.2 expression and pathogen resistance in Arabidopsis

Mol Plant. 2009 Jan;2(1):152-65. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssn095.


In order to assess the functional roles of heat stress-induced class B-heat shock factors in Arabidopsis, we investigated T-DNA knockout mutants of AtHsfB1 and AtHsfB2b. Micorarray analysis of double knockout hsfB1/hsfB2b plants revealed as strong an up-regulation of the basal mRNA-levels of the defensin genes Pdf1.2a/b in mutant plants. The Pdf expression was further enhanced by jasmonic acid treatment or infection with the necrotrophic fungus Alternaria brassicicola. The single mutant hsfB2b and the double mutant hsfB1/B2b were significantly improved in disease resistance after A. brassicicola infection. There was no indication for a direct interaction of Hsf with the promoter of Pdf1.2, which is devoid of perfect HSE consensus Hsf-binding sequences. However, changes in the formation of late HsfA2-dependent HSE binding were detected in hsfB1/B2b plants. This suggests that HsfB1/B2b may interact with class A-Hsf in regulating the shut-off of the heat shock response. The identification of Pdf genes as targets of Hsf-dependent negative regulation is the first evidence for an interconnection of Hsf in the regulation of biotic and abiotic responses.

Keywords: Abiotic/environmental stress; Arabidopsis; defense responses; disease resistance; transcriptional control and transcription factors; transcriptome analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Defensins / genetics*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics*
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Genes, Plant*
  • Heat-Shock Proteins / physiology*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • Defensins
  • Heat-Shock Proteins
  • PDF1.2 protein, Arabidopsis