• Open Access

A novel membrane-bound E3 ubiquitin ligase enhances the thermal resistance in plants



High temperature stress disturbs cellular homoeostasis and results in a severe retardation in crop growth and development. Thus, it is important to reveal the mechanism of plants coping with heat stress. In this study, a novel gene that we identified from Brassica napus, referred to as BnTR1, was found to play a key role in heat stress response in planta. BnTR1 is a membrane-bound RINGv (C4HC3) protein that displays E3 ligase activity in vitro. We demonstrated that modest expression of BnTR1 is sufficient to minimize adverse environmental influence and confers thermal resistance on development without any detrimental effects in B. napus and Oryza sativa. Our investigation into the action mechanism indicates that BnTR1 is likely to be involved in mediating Ca2+ dynamics by regulating the activity of calcium channels, which further alters the transcripts of heat shock factors and heat shock proteins contributing to plant thermotolerance. Hence, our study identified BnTR1 as a novel key factor underlying a conserved mechanism conferring thermal resistance in plants.