Papers in the Biological Sciences


Date of this Version



Nucleic Acids Research, 2014, Vol. 42, No. 9


Copyright 2014 The Authors.


Plants that have experienced several exposures to

dehydration stress show increased resistance to future

exposures by producing faster and/or stronger

reactions, while many dehydration stress responding

genes in Arabidopsis thaliana super-induce their

transcription as a ‘memory’ from the previous encounter.

A previously unknown, rather unusual,

memory response pattern is displayed by a subset

of the dehydration stress response genes. Despite

robustly responding to a first stress, these genes

return to their initial, pre-stressed, transcript levels

during the watered recovery; surprisingly, they do

not respond further to subsequent stresses of similar

magnitude and duration. This transcriptional behavior

defines the ‘revised-response’ memory genes.

Here, we investigate the molecular mechanisms regulating

this transcription memory behavior. Potential

roles of abscisic acid (ABA), of transcription factors

(TFs) from the ABA signaling pathways (ABF2/3/4

and MYC2), and of histone modifications (H3K4me3

and H3K27me3) as factors in the revised-response

transcription memory patterns are elucidated. We

identify the TF MYC2 as the critical component for

the memory behavior of a specific subset of MYC2-

dependent genes.

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