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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01900

NAC family transcription factors in tobacco and their potential role in regulating leaf senescence

Wei Li1,  Xiaoxu Li1, Jiangtao Chao1, Zenglin Zhang1, Weifeng Wang1 and  Yongfeng Guo1*
  • 1Tobacco Research Institute (CAAS), China

The NAC family is one of the largest families of plant-specific transcription factors and NAC proteins play important regulatory roles in a variety of developmental and stress response processes in plants. Members of the NAC family transcription factors have been shown to be important regulators of leaf senescence in a number of plant species. Here we report the identification of the NAC family in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) and characterization of the potential role of some of the tobacco NAC transcription factors in regulating leaf senescence. A total of 154 NAC genes (NtNACs) were identified and clustered together with the Arabidopsis NAC family into fifteen groups (a-o). Transcriptome data analysis followed qRT-PCR validation showed that the majority of the senescence-up-regulated NtNACs fall into subgroups NAC-b and f. A number of known senescence regulators from Arabidopsis also belong to these two subgroups. Among these senescence-up-regulated NtNACs, NtNAC080, a close homolog of AtNAP, is a positive regulator of leaf senescence. Overexpression of NtNAC080 caused early senescence in Arabidopsis leaves and NtNAC080 mutation induced by Cas9/gRNA in tobacco led to delayed leaf senescence.

Keywords: NAC family, leaf senescence, NtNAC080, Bioinformatic analysis, Transcriptome, Tobacco

Received: 26 Sep 2018; Accepted: 07 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Munetaka Sugiyama, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Reviewed by:

Mitsuhiro Aida, Kumamoto University, Japan
Bernd Mueller-Roeber, Universität Potsdam, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Li, Li, Chao, Zhang, Wang and Guo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Yongfeng Guo, Tobacco Research Institute (CAAS), Qingdao, 266101, Shandong Province, China,