[Wolfgang Schmidt] ERF109, a universal stress-fighting tool

ETHYLENE-RESPONSIVE TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR109 (ERF109) is a member of the ERF/AP2 transcription factor family which is involved in a multitude of abiotic and biotic stresses as well as in essential processes such as hormone signaling and root stem cell maintenance. Researchers at IPMB and NCHU could now demonstrate that ERF109 plays also a critical role in the coordination of the iron (Fe) deficiency response. Transcriptome analysis revealed that erf109 mutant plants constitutively express a subset of genes associated with the immune network and induce an almost complete Fe deficiency response in shoots, suggesting that ERF109 is a key node in the regulation of Fe-responsive and pathogen defense genes in above-ground plant parts. The study is a collaboration between I-Chun Pan, professor at the Department of Horticulture at NCHU and former postdoc at IPMB, and Wolfgang Schmidt’s group. The paper is published within a Frontiers Research Topic edited by Louis Grillet, professor at the Department of Agricultural Chemistry at NTU. Small world: also Louis received his post-doctoral training at IPMB.