Kunrong He: The Plant Cell First Author

Kunrong He, first author of “PHOSPHATE STARVATION RESPONSE1 (PHR1) interacts with JASMONATE ZIM-DOMAIN (JAZ) and MYC2 to modulate phosphate deficiency-induced jasmonate signaling in Arabidopsis”

Current Position: Ph.D. in Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences (XTBG, CAS)

Education: B.Ag. in Northwest A&F University, China

Non-scientific Interests: Music, movies, travel, photography

Brief bio: I built my professional foundation related to molecular biology when I was an undergraduate student at Northwest A&F University. I joined the group of Prof. Yanru Hu at XTBG, CAS in 2018. I focus on the interactions between key environmental signals and endogenous phytohormones to regulate plant growth, development, and environmental adaptation

In this study, we revealed the molecular regulatory mechanism underlying phosphate deficiency activating the jasmonate responses. We found that PHR1, a core transcription factor in the phosphate deficiency signaling pathway, interact with the crucial JAZ protein of jasmonate signaling. Further studies showed that PHR1 directly binds to the promoters of jasmonate downstream response genes and induces their expression. In addition, PHR1 also interacts with MYC2 transcription factor and synergistically promotes each other’s binding ability and transcriptional activation function. Hwever, JAZ proteins inhibit the transcriptional function of PHR1 and MYC2 and competitively repress the interaction between PHR1 and MYC2. In conclusion, this study not only revealed the biological function of PHR1 in regulating jasmonate response, but also resolved the genetic mechanism of PHR1 integration of JAZ and MYC proteins in regulating jasmonate response under phosphate deficiency environment at the molecular level. This is of great scientific importance for a deeper understanding of the synergistic regulation of plant growth and environmental adaptation by endogenous and exogenous signals.