PIF7-mediated Epigenetic Reprogramming Promotes the Transcriptional Response to Shade in Arabidopsis
Published:20 Mar.2023    Source:The EMBO Journal

For shade-intolerant plants, changes in light quality through competition from neighbors trigger shade avoidance syndrome (SAS): a series of morphological and physiological adaptations that are ultimately detrimental to plant health and crop yield. Phytochrome-interacting factor 7 (PIF7) is a major transcriptional regulator of SAS in Arabidopsis; however, how it regulates gene expression is not fully understood. Here, we show that PIF7 directly interacts with the histone chaperone anti-silencing factor 1 (ASF1). The ASF1-deprived asf1ab mutant showed defective shade-induced hypocotyl elongation. Histone regulator homolog A (HIRA), which mediates deposition of the H3.3 variant into chromatin, is also involved in SAS. RNA/ChIP-sequencing analyses identified the role of ASF1 in the direct regulation of a subset of PIF7 target genes. Furthermore, shade-elicited gene activation is accompanied by H3.3 enrichment, which is mediated by the PIF7-ASF1-HIRA regulatory module. Collectively, our data reveal that PIF7 recruits ASF1-HIRA to increase H3.3 incorporation into chromatin to promote gene transcription, thus enabling plants to effectively respond to environmental shade.