Tian li Li: The Plant Cell First Author

Tian li Li, co-first author of “BPL3 binds the long noncoding RNA nalncFL7 to suppress FORKED-LIKE7 and modulate HAI1-mediated MPK3/6 dephosphorylation in plant immunity”

Current Position: Ph.D. candidate at College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, China.

Education: Expected to graduate in the Summer of 2024 at Nanjing Agricultural University.

Non-scientific Interests: Music

Brief bio: I joined Prof. Daolong Dou’s group at NJAU since 2018 to pursue my Ph.D. My research is mainly focused on the identification and mechanism study of plant resistance genes in Phytophthora-host plants interactions. Previous work identified a class of RNA-binding proteins named BPL family. Our findings shows that BPL (BPA1-Like Proteins) family negatively regulates plant immunity, and BPL3 plays the main role, while other proteins have redundant functions. In this study, we confirm that BPL3 is a negative regulator of plant immunity complementing bpl3 mutants and by overexpressing BPL3. Analysis of RNA-seq data revealed that BPL3 targets a pair of natural antisense strands, FL7 (Forked-like 7) and nalncFL7 (cis-natural antisense lncRNA of FL7). BPL3 binds and stabilizes nalncFL7, which in turn leads to a reduction of FL7 at the RNA level. Genetic and biochemical experiments showed that FL7 could directly bind and inhibit the phosphatase activity of HAI1. HAI1 is a PP2C member that dephosphorylates MAPK (Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase), thereby mediating plant susceptibility. We found BPL3 and FL7 is conserved in land plants while nalncFL7 is at least conserved in Brassicaceae, which indicated that BPL3-nalncFL7-FL7 cascade may arise after segregation of Brassicaceae species. Based on the above results, we found a novel and conserved cascade of BPL3-nalncFL7-FL7-HAI1 that regulates plant immunity, and analyzed the mechanism of BPL3 negatively regulating plant immunity.