The bHLH transcription factor GmPIB1 facilitates resistance to Phytophthora sojae in Glycine max

J Exp Bot. 2018 Apr 27;69(10):2527-2541. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ery103.


Phytophthora sojae Kaufmann and Gerdemann causes Phytophthora root rot, a destructive soybean disease worldwide. A basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor is thought to be involved in the response to P. sojae infection in soybean, as revealed by RNA sequencing (RNA-seq). However, the molecular mechanism underlying this response is currently unclear. Here, we explored the function and underlying mechanisms of a bHLH transcription factor in soybean, designated GmPIB1 (P. sojae-inducible bHLH transcription factor), during host responses to P. sojae. GmPIB1 was significantly induced by P. sojae in the resistant soybean cultivar 'L77-1863'. Analysis of transgenic soybean hairy roots with elevated or reduced expression of GmPIB1 demonstrated that GmPIB1 enhances resistance to P. sojae and reduces reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR and chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR assays revealed that GmPIB1 binds directly to the promoter of GmSPOD1 and represses its expression; this gene encodes a key enzyme in ROS production. Moreover, transgenic soybean hairy roots with GmSPOD1 silencing through RNA interference exhibited improved resistance to P. sojae and reduced ROS generation. These findings suggest that GmPIB1 enhances resistance to P. sojae by repressing the expression of GmSPOD1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Disease Resistance / genetics
  • Glycine max / genetics*
  • Glycine max / metabolism
  • Glycine max / microbiology*
  • Phytophthora / physiology*
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism


  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Plant Proteins