Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2011

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Jim J. -C. Lin

Second Advisor

Ming-Che Shih


Transcriptional control plays a major role in regulating hypoxic responses in plants. However, the transcriptional regulatory networks associated with hypoxia remain to be constructed. By transcriptomic analysis I show here that a novel systemic transcriptional reprogramming, which is mediated via the interplay of hormones, facilitates the survival of plants under flooding. A feasible strategy for identifying downstream targets of transcription factors (TFs) was developed. The downstream pathways of a hypoxia-responsive TF, WRKY22, were constructed. The results also show that AtERF73/HRE1 (Arabidopsis thaliana Ethylene Response Factor 73/Hypoxia Responsive ERF 1) modulate ethylene-dependent and -independent responses during hypoxia. Transcriptomic analysis of Arabidopsis in both root and shoot tissues during flooding of roots indicates the existence of a systemic communication through transcriptional reprogramming. By functional classification of affected genes, a comprehensive managing program of carbohydrate metabolism was observed. Through transcriptional profiling in ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA) signaling mutants, ein2-5 and abi4-1, an alteration of long-distance hypoxic regulation was uncovered in ein2-5 and abi4-1. Moreover, genes involved in ABA biosynthesis were also found to be differentially regulated between shoots and roots. Many members of the WRKY TF family were highly induced by hypoxia. One of the early-induced WRKYs, WRKY22, which has the highest induced level, was chosen for identifying its downstream targets. Anoxic tolerance was affected in WRKY22 overexpressing (WRKY22-OX) and knock-out (wrky22-ko) lines. Comparison of differential gene expression profiles between the wild-type and WRKY22-OX and between the wild-type and wrky22-ko lines by microarray analysis identified novel hypoxia-responsive genes as WRKY22 targets. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by microarray hybridization (ChIP-chip) and ChIP followed by quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR) were utilized to analyze in vivo interactions. To study the role of ethylene during hypoxia, I characterized an AP2/ERF (APETALA2/ethylene response factor) AtERF73/HRE1 that is specifically induced during hypoxia. I showed that the expression of AtERF73/HRE1 can be induced by exogenous 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid (ACC), a precursor of ethylene. Its hypoxic induction was reduced but not completely abolished in ethylene-insensitive mutants and in the presence of inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis and responses. Increased ethylene sensitivity and exaggerated triple responses were observed in HRE1-RNAi knock-down lines. By comparing expression differences between the wild-type and HRE1-RNAi lines, I found that hypoxic induction of glycolytic and fermentative genes was reduced by the HRE1-RNAi knock-down mutations, whereas induction of a number of peroxidase and cytochrome P450 genes was increased. Collectively, these results show that AtERF73/HRE1 is involved in modulating ethylene responses under both normoxia and hypoxia.


Ethylene, Hypoxia, Low Oxygen, Transcription factor


xii, 159 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 147-159).


Copyright 2011 Fu-Chiun Hsu

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