RICE SALT SENSITIVE3 forms a ternary complex with JAZ and class-C bHLH factors and regulates jasmonate-induced gene expression and root cell elongation.Plant Cell. 2013 May; 25(5):1709-25.PC
Plasticity of root growth in response to environmental cues and stresses is a fundamental characteristic of land plants. However, the molecular basis underlying the regulation of root growth under stressful conditions is poorly understood. Here, we report that a rice nuclear factor, RICE SALT SENSITIVE3 (RSS3), regulates root cell elongation during adaptation to salinity. Loss of function of RSS3 only moderately inhibits cell elongation under normal conditions, but it provokes spontaneous root cell swelling, accompanied by severe root growth inhibition, under saline conditions. RSS3 is preferentially expressed in the root tip and forms a ternary complex with class-C basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factors and JASMONATE ZIM-DOMAIN proteins, the latter of which are the key regulators of jasmonate (JA) signaling. The mutated protein arising from the rss3 allele fails to interact with bHLH factors, and the expression of a significant portion of JA-responsive genes is upregulated in rss3. These results, together with the known roles of JAs in root growth regulation, suggest that RSS3 modulates the expression of JA-responsive genes and plays a crucial role in a mechanism that sustains root cell elongation at appropriate rates under stressful conditions.