Salinity impairs seed germination and seedling establishment. We investigated the role of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) CALMODULIN-BINDING TRANSCRIPTION ACTIVATOR 6 (CAMTA6) in salinity stress responses during early germination. Compared with the wild type, the camta6-4 and camta6-5 mutants were more tolerant to NaCl and abscisic acid (ABA) and accumulated less Na+. In contrast, 4- to 11-d-old camta6 seedlings were more sensitive to NaCl. In camta6, expression of HIGHAFFINITY K+ TRANSPORTER1 (AtHKT1;1), encoding an Na+/K+ transporter, was restricted to the radicles and was not enhanced by NaCl or ABA. During germination, the camta6 hkt1 double mutant was as sensitive as the wild type and hkt1 to NaCl, suggesting that HKT1;1 is crucial for the salt tolerance of camta6. An ABA response element in the HKT1;1 promoter was found to be indispensable for the enhanced expression of the gene in response to NaCl and to ABA. Transcriptome analysis of the wild type and camta6-5 with and without salt treatment revealed 1,020 up-regulated and 1,467 down-regulated saltresponsive genes in the wild type. Among these, 638 up-regulated and 1,242 down-regulated genes were classified as CAMTA6-dependent. Expression of several known salt stress-associated genes, including SALT OVERLY SENSITIVE1 and Na+/H+ ANTIPORTER, was impaired in camta6 mutants. Bioinformatics analysis of the 59 upstream sequences of the saltresponsive CAMTA6-dependent up-regulated genes revealed the CACGTGTC motif as the most prominent element, representing an ABA response element and a potential CAMTA-binding site.
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1This work was supported by the Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 743/16 to H.F.). 2Present address: Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot 76100, Israel. 3Author for contact: email@example.com. 4Senior author. The author responsible for distribution of materials integral to the findings presented in this article in accordance with the policy described in the Instructions for Authors (www.plantphysiol.org) is: Doron Shkolnik (firstname.lastname@example.org). D.S. and H.F. designed the experiments and research plan; D.S. and A.F. performed the experiments; D.S., H.F., A.F., and M.P.-C. analyzed the data and wrote the article. [OPEN]Articles can be viewed without a subscription. www.plantphysiol.org/cgi/doi/10.1104/pp.19.00119
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