Tissue-specific transcriptomics shows the unfolded protein response’s role in maintaining fertility upon heat stress ($)

Plant reproduction is particularly sensitive to heat stress, so rising temperature is a major threat to food security.  Zhang et al. surveyed the transcriptional responses to heat stress (3 h at 37º) in Arabidopsis and identified large differences between vegetative and reproductive tissue responses to heat. In reproductive tissue, heat-responsive genes include those participating in the unfolded protein response (UPR), a eukaryote-wide signalling pathway in which unfolded proteins in the ER initiate signals that are transduced to the nucleus and lead to the expression of stress-response genes. bZIP28 and bZIP60 are two key transcription factors involved in the UPR, and bZIP28 / bZIP60 double mutants are particularly vulnerable to heat stress, demonstrating that the UPR protects reproductive development during heat stress. Plant Cell 10.​1105/​tpc.​16.​00916