Data from: Repeat variants for the SbMATE transporter protect sorghum roots from aluminum toxicity by transcriptional interplay in cis and trans
Melo, Janaina O. et al. (2018), Data from: Repeat variants for the SbMATE transporter protect sorghum roots from aluminum toxicity by transcriptional interplay in cis and trans, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.18p3h04
Acidic soils, where aluminum (Al) toxicity is a major agricultural constraint, are globally widespread and are prevalent in developing countries. In sorghum, the root citrate transporter SbMATE confers Al tolerance by protecting root apices from toxic Al3+, but can exhibit reduced expression when introgressed into different lines. We show that allele-specific SbMATE transactivation occurs and is caused by factors located away from SbMATE. Using expression-QTL mapping and -GWAS, we establish that SbMATE transcription is controlled in a bipartite fashion, primarily in cis but also in trans. Multi-allelic promoter transactivation and ChIP analyses demonstrated that intermolecular effects on SbMATE expression arise from a WRKY and a zinc finger-DHHC transcription factor (TF) that bind to and trans-activate the SbMATE promoter. A haplotype analysis in sorghum RILs indicate that the TFs influence SbMATE expression and Al tolerance. Variation in SbMATE expression likely results from changes in tandemly repeated cis sequences flanking a transposable element (MITE) insertion in the SbMATE promoter, which are recognized by the Al3+-responsive TFs. According to our model, repeat expansion in Al-tolerant genotypes increases TF recruitment and, hence, SbMATE expression, which is, in turn, lower in Al-sensitive genetic backgrounds due to lower TF expression and fewer binding sites. We thus show that even dominant cis regulation of an agronomically-important gene can be subjected to precise intermolecular fine-tuning. These concerted cis/trans interactions, which allow the plant to sense and respond to environmental cues, such as Al3+ toxicity, can now be used to increase yields and food security on acidic soils.
National Science Foundation, Award: No