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Plant Cell, Tissue and Organ Culture (PCTOC) (2020) 140:157–172
Isolation andfunctional characterization ofanEthylene Response
Factor (RhERF092) fromrose (Rosa hybrida)
Muhammad AliKhan1,2· MuhammadImtiaz1,2· AdilHussain1· FazalJalal1· SikandarHayat3· SayedHussain1·
FazalSaid1· MehboobAlam4· RabiaAmir5
Received: 6 January 2019 / Accepted: 14 October 2019 / Published online: 29 October 2019
© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
Improper post-harvest handling results in signiﬁcant losses to cut rose ﬂowers. The phytohormone ethylene plays a key role in
the growth of rose and ﬂower opening. In this study we isolated and characterized an Ethylene Response Factor (RhERF092)
from rose (Rosa hybrida) cv. “Samantha” and investigated its role in ﬂower opening and development. RhERF092 was
originally detected in a microarray experiment with a signiﬁcant increase in its expression in rose petals after 1h of ethylene
treatment. Sequence analysis showed the presence of a canonical AP2/EREBP domain and a C-terminus trans-activation
domain. Phylogenetic analysis showed that RhERF092 is an orthologue of the Arabidopsis ERF1 (AT3G23240) belonging
to subgroup IX of the ERF gene family. Confocal laser scanning microscopy showed RhERF092: GFP expression in the
nucleus. Basal expression of RhERF092 is highest expression at stage 0 of ﬂower opening which gradually decreases and
remains constant till senescence. Ectopic expression of RhERF092 in Arabidopsis caused various ethylene-related aberrations
in plant development including stunted growth, abortion of apical dominance, production of lateral tillers from rosette nodes,
branches from the aerial nodes, and sterile inﬂorescence. Arabidopsis 35SRhERF092 plants were found to be sensitive to
the ethylene precursor ACC with signiﬁcantly reduced hypocotyl and root system with signiﬁcant reduction in the expres-
sion of genes involved in cell proliferation, cell expansion and cell cycle such as ARGOS, ARGOS-LIKE, SIM, JAGGED,
AN3, CYCD3-1, and CYCD3-2as compared to WT plants. Taken together these results indicate that RhERF092 regulates
ethylene-speciﬁc responses in rose and Arabidopsis.
The rose Ethylene Response Factor RhERF092 is a transcription factor that regulates essential ethylene-related development
of rose ﬂowers and mediates abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis.
Keywords Rose· Flower opening· Ethylene· RhERF092· Transcriptional factor
Rose (Rosa hybrida) is a woody perennial plant of the genus
Rosa with over 100 species, within the family Rosaceae
forming a large group of shrubs, and climbing or trailing
plants with stems often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers
vary in color and size. Generally, they are harvested and cut
when in bud, and held in refrigerated conditions until ready
for display at their point of sale.
Ethylene, unlike the rest of the plant hormones; is a gas-
eous hormone. It is the only member of its class and has
the simplest structure of all the plant growth substances.
It plays a key role in seed germination, leaf senescence,
fruit ripening and abscission, response to biotic and abi-
otic stresses, and in the triple response (Abeles etal. 2012;
Arteca and Arteca 1999). Flower senescence in many plant
species has been associated with ethylene biosynthesis and
homeostasis. The climacteric rise of endogenous ethylene
in ornamental ﬂowers has been shown to play a regulatory
Communicated by Sergio Rosales-Mendoza.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (https ://doi.org/10.1007/s1124 0-019-01719 -y) contains
supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
* Muhammad Ali Khan
Extended author information available on the last page of the article