The rice wound-inducible transcription factor RERJ1 sharing same signal transduction pathway with OsMYC2 is necessary for defense response to herbivory and bacterial blight

Ioana Valea, Atsushi Motegi, Naoko Kawamura, Koichi Kawamoto, Akio Miyao, Rika Ozawa, Junji Takabayashi, Kenji Gomi, Keiichirou Nemoto, Akira Nozawa, Tatsuya Sawasaki, Tomonori Shinya, Ivan Galis, Koji Miyamoto, Hideaki Nojiri, Kazunori Okada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Key message: This study describes biological functions of the bHLH transcription factor RERJ1 involved in the jasmonate response and the related defense-associated metabolic pathways in rice, with particular focus on deciphering the regulatory mechanisms underlying stress-induced volatile emission and herbivory resistance. RERJ1 is rapidly and drastically induced by wounding and jasmonate treatment but its biological function remains unknown as yet. Here we provide evidence of the biological function of RERJ1 in plant defense, specifically in response to herbivory and pathogen attack, and offer insights into the RERJ1-mediated regulation of metabolic pathways of specialized defense compounds, such as monoterpene linalool, in possible collaboration with OsMYC2—a well-known master regulator in jasmonate signaling. Abstract: In rice (Oryza sativa L.), the basic helix–loop–helix (bHLH) family transcription factor RERJ1 is induced under environmental stresses, such as wounding and drought, which are closely linked to jasmonate (JA) accumulation. Here, we investigated the biological function of RERJ1 in response to biotic stresses, such as herbivory and pathogen infection, using an RERJ1-defective mutant. Transcriptome analysis of the rerj1-Tos17 mutant revealed that RERJ1 regulated the expression of a typical family of conserved JA-responsive genes (e.g., terpene synthases, proteinase inhibitors, and jasmonate ZIM domain proteins). Upon exposure to armyworm attack, the rerj1-Tos17 mutant exhibited more severe damage than the wildtype, and significant weight gain of the larvae fed on the mutant was observed. Upon Xanthomonas oryzae infection, the rerj1-Tos17 mutant developed more severe symptoms than the wildtype. Among RERJ1-regulated terpene synthases, linalool synthase expression was markedly disrupted and linalool emission after wounding was significantly decreased in the rerj1-Tos17 mutant. RERJ1 appears to interact with OsMYC2—a master regulator of JA signaling—and many OsJAZ proteins, although no obvious epistatic interaction was detected between them at the transcriptional level. These results indicate that RERJ1 is involved in the transcriptional induction of JA-mediated stress-responsive genes via physical association with OsMYC2 and mediates defense against herbivory and bacterial infection through JA signaling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-666
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Molecular Biology
Issue number4-5
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Biotic stress
  • Defense
  • Jasmonate
  • Oryza sativa
  • Volatile
  • bHLH transcription factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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