Plants respond to high temperatures with global changes of the transcriptome, proteome, and metabolome. Heat stress transcription factors (Hsfs) are the core regulators of transcriptome responses as they control the reprogramming of expression of hundreds of genes. The thermotolerance-related function of Hsfs is mainly based on the regulation of many heat shock proteins (HSPs). Instead, the Hsf-dependent reprogramming of metabolic pathways and their contribution to thermotolerance are not well described. In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), manipulation of HsfB1, either by suppression or overexpression (OE) leads to enhanced thermotolerance and coincides with distinct profile of metabolic routes based on a metabolome profiling of wild-type (WT) and HsfB1 transgenic plants. Leaves of HsfB1 knock-down plants show an accumulation of metabolites with a positive effect on thermotolerance such as the sugars sucrose and glucose and the polyamine putrescine. OE of HsfB1 leads to the accumulation of products of the phenylpropanoid and flavonoid pathways, including several caffeoyl quinic acid isomers. The latter is due to the enhanced transcription of genes coding key enzymes in both pathways, in some cases in both non-stressed and stressed plants. Our results show that beyond the control of the expression of Hsfs and HSPs, HsfB1 has a wider activity range by regulating important metabolic pathways providing an important link between stress response and physiological tomato development.
- heat stress
- Solanum lycopersicum