Roles of NIA/NR/NOA1-dependent nitric oxide production and HY1 expression in the modulation of Arabidopsis salt tolerance

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Despite substantial evidence on the separate roles of Arabidopsis nitric oxide-associated 1 (NOA1)-associated nitric oxide (NO) production and haem oxygenase 1 (HY1) expression in salt tolerance, their integrative signalling pathway remains largely unknown. To fill this knowledge gap, the interaction network among nitrate reductase (NIA/NR)- and NOA1-dependent NO production and HY1 expression was studied at the genetic and molecular levels. Upon salinity stress, the majority of NO production was attributed to NIA/NR/NOA1. Further evidence confirmed that HY1 mutant hy1-100, nia1/2/noa1, and nia1/2/noa1/hy1-100 mutants exhibited progressive salt hypersensitivity, all of which were significantly rescued by three NO-releasing compounds. The salinity-tolerant phenotype and the stronger NO production in gain-of-function mutant of HY1 were also blocked by the NO synthetic inhibitor and scavenger. Although NO- or HY1-deficient mutants showed a compensatory mode of upregulation of HY1 or slightly increased NO production, respectively, during 2 d of salt treatment, downregulation of ZAT10/12-mediated antioxidant gene expression (cAPX1/2 and FSD1) was observed after 7 d of treatment. The hypersensitive phenotypes and stress-related genes expression profiles were differentially rescued or blocked by the application of NO- (in particular) or carbon monoxide (CO)-releasing compounds, showing a synergistic mode. Similar reciprocal responses were observed in the nia1/2/noa1/hy1-100 quadruple mutant, with the NO-releasing compounds exhibit the maximal rescuing responses. Overall, the findings present the combination of compensatory and synergistic modes, linking NIA/NR/NOA1-dependent NO production and HY1 expression in the modulation of plant salt tolerance.

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