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Received March 5, 2014; Revision received June 27, 2014
The JcERF1 gene, which is related to the ERF family (ethylene responsive factor coding genes), was isolated and characterized from the oil tree Jatropha curcas. The JcERF1 protein contains conserved an AP2/EREBP DNA-binding domain of 58 amino acid residues. The JcERF1 gene could be induced by abscisic acid, high salinity, hormones, and osmotic stress, suggesting that JcERF1 is regulated by certain components of the stress-signaling pathway. The full-length and C-terminus of JcERF1 driven by the GAL4 promoter functioned effectively as a transactivator in yeast, while its N-terminus was completely inactive. Transient expression analysis using a JcERF1-mGFP fusion gene in onion epidermal cells revealed that the JcERF1 protein is targeted to the nucleus. Transgenic tobacco plants carrying CaMV35S::JcERF1 fragments were shown to be much more salt tolerant compared to wild-type plants. Our results indicate that JcERF1 is a new member of the ERF transcription factors family that may play an important role in tolerance to environmental stress.
KEY WORDS: ethylene response factor (ERF), Jatropha curcas, JcERF1, subcellular localization, overexpression, salt stress