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Hsiang-chin Liu†, Jörn Lämke†, Siou-ying Lin†, Meng-Ju Hung, Kuan-Ming Liu, Yee-yung Charng*, Isabel Bäurle* (2018) Distinct heat shock factors and chromatin modifications mediate the organ-autonomous transcriptional memory of heat stress. Plant J. https://doi.org/10.1111/tpj.13958


Plants can be primed by a stress cue to mount a faster or stronger activation of defense mechanisms upon a subsequent stress. A crucial component of such stress priming is the modified reactivation of genes upon recurring stress; however, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we report that dozens of Arabidopsis thaliana genes display transcriptional memory, i.e. stronger upregulation after a recurring heat stress, that lasts for at least three days. We define a set of transcription factors involved in this memory response and show that the transcriptional memory results in enhanced transcriptional activation within minutes after the onset of a heat stress cue. Further, we show that the transcriptional memory is active in all tissues. It may last for up to a week, and is associated with histone H3 lysine 4 hyper-methylation during this time. This transcriptional memory is cis-encoded, as we identify a promoter fragment that confers memory onto a heterologous gene. In summary, heat-induced transcriptional memory is a widespread and sustained response, and our study provides a framework for future mechanistic studies of somatic stress memory in higher plants.
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*2018/10/08 10:30 AM
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