BjMYB1, a transcription factor implicated in plant defence through activating BjCHI1 chitinase expression by binding to a W-box-like element

J Exp Bot. 2016 Aug;67(15):4647-58. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw240. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


We previously identified the W-box-like-4 (Wbl-4) element (GTAGTGACTCAT), one of six Wbl elements in the BjC-P promoter of the unusual chitinase gene BjCHI1 from Brassica juncea, as the core element responsive to fungal infection. Here, we report the isolation and characterization of the cognate transcription factor interacting with the Wbl-4 element. Using Wbl-4 as a target, we performed yeast one-hybrid screening of a B. juncea cDNA library and isolated an R2R3-MYB transcription factor designated as BjMYB1. BjMYB1 was localized in the nucleus of plant cells. EMSA assays confirmed that BjMYB1 binds to the Wbl-4 element. Transiently expressed BjMYB1 up-regulated the activity of the BjC-P promoter through its binding to the Wbl-4 element in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) leaves. In B. juncea, BjMYB1 displayed a similar induced expression pattern as that of BjCHI1 upon infection by the fungus Botrytis cinerea Moreover, heterogeneous overexpression of BjMYB1 significantly elevated the resistance of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana to the fungus B. cinerea These results suggest that BjMYB1 is potentially involved in host defence against fungal attack through activating the expression of BjCHI1 by binding to the Wbl-4 element in the BjC-P promoter. This finding demonstrates a novel DNA target of plant MYB transcription factors.

Keywords: BjMYB1; Botrytis cinerea; MYB transcription factor; W-box-like element.; fungus; pathogen defence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / microbiology
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Botrytis / physiology
  • Chitinases / metabolism*
  • Disease Resistance / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Mustard Plant / metabolism*
  • Nicotiana / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / physiology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / physiology*


  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Chitinases