Plants are constantly exposed to environmental changes that affect their performance. Metabolic adjustments are crucial to controlling energy homoeostasis and plant survival, particularly during stress. Under carbon starvation, coordinated reprogramming is initiated to adjust metabolic processes, which culminate in premature senescence. Notwithstanding, the regulatory networks that modulate transcriptional control during low energy remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the WRKY45 transcription factor is highly induced during both developmental and dark-induced senescence. The overexpression of Arabidopsis WRKY45 resulted in an early senescence phenotype characterized by a reduction of maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II and chlorophyll levels in the later stages of darkness. The detailed metabolic characterization showed significant changes in amino acids coupled with the accumulation of organic acids in WRKY45 overexpression lines during dark-induced senescence. Furthermore, the markedly upregulation of alternative oxidase (AOX1a, AOX1d) and electron transfer flavoprotein/ubiquinone oxidoreductase (ETFQO) genes suggested that WRKY45 is associated with a dysregulation of mitochondrial signalling and the activation of alternative respiration rather than amino acids catabolism regulation. Collectively our results provided evidence that WRKY45 is involved in the plant metabolic reprogramming following carbon starvation and highlight the potential role of WRKY45 in the modulation of mitochondrial signalling pathways.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the Serrapilheira Institute [grant Serra‐1812‐27067] and FAPEMIG (Foundation for Research Assistance of the Minas Gerais State, Brazil). Scholarships granted by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq‐Brazil) to Jessica A. S. Barros and research fellowships awarded by CNPq Brazil to Adriano Nunes‐Nesi and Wagner L. Araújo are gratefully acknowledged.
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
- Arabidopsis thaliana
- alternative pathways
- energy depletion
- transcription factor