BES/BZR Transcription Factor TaBZR2 Positively Regulates Drought Responses by Activation of TaGST1

Plant Physiol. 2019 May;180(1):605-620. doi: 10.1104/pp.19.00100. Epub 2019 Mar 6.


BRI1-EMS suppressor (BES)/brassinazole-resistant (BZR) family transcription factors are involved in a variety of physiological processes, but the biological functions of some BES/BZR transcription factors remain unknown; moreover, it is not clear if any of these proteins function in the regulation of plant stress responses. Here, wheat (Triticum aestivum) brassinazole-resistant 2 (TaBZR2)-overexpressing plants exhibited drought tolerant phenotypes, whereas downregulation of TaBZR2 in wheat by RNA interference resulted in elevated drought sensitivity. electrophoretic mobility shift assay and luciferase reporter analysis illustrate that TaBZR2 directly interacts with the gene promoter to activate the expression of T. aestivum glutathione s-transferase-1 (TaGST1), which functions positively in scavenging drought-induced superoxide anions (O2 -). Moreover, TaBZR2 acts as a positive regulator in brassinosteroid (BR) signaling. Exogenous BR treatment enhanced TaBZR2-mediated O2 - scavenging and antioxidant enzyme gene expression. Taken together, we demonstrate that a BES/BZR family transcription factor, TaBZR2, functions positively in drought responses by activating TaGST1 and mediates the crosstalk between BR and drought signaling pathways. Our results thus provide new insights into the mechanisms underlying how BES/BZR family transcription factors contribute to drought tolerance in wheat.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brassinosteroids / metabolism
  • Brassinosteroids / pharmacology
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics
  • Glutathione Transferase / metabolism
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA Interference
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics
  • Superoxides / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Triticum / drug effects
  • Triticum / physiology*


  • Brassinosteroids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Superoxides
  • Glutathione Transferase