A MYC2/MYC3/MYC4-dependent transcription factor network regulates water spray-responsive gene expression and jasmonate levels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Mechanical stimuli, such as wind, rain, and touch affect plant development, growth, pest resistance, and ultimately reproductive success. Using water spray to simulate rain, we demonstrate that jasmonic acid (JA) signaling plays a key role in early gene-expression changes, well before it leads to developmental changes in flowering and plant architecture. The JA-activated transcription factors MYC2/MYC3/MYC4 modulate transiently induced expression of 266 genes, most of which peak within 30 min, and control 52% of genes induced >100-fold. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-sequencing analysis indicates that MYC2 dynamically binds >1,300 promoters and trans-activation assays show that MYC2 activates these promoters. By mining our multiomic datasets, we identified a core MYC2/MYC3/MYC4-dependent “regulon” of 82 genes containing many previously unknown MYC2 targets, including transcription factors bHLH19 and ERF109. bHLH19 can in turn directly activate the ORA47 promoter, indicating that MYC2/MYC3/MYC4 initiate a hierarchical network of downstream transcription factors. Finally, we also reveal that rapid water spray-induced accumulation of JA and JA-isoleucine is directly controlled by MYC2/ MYC3/MYC4 through a positive amplification loop that regulates JA-biosynthesis genes.


  • Alex van Moerkercke
  • Owen Duncan
  • Mark Zander
  • Jan Simura
  • Martyna Broda
  • Robin Vanden Bossche
  • Mathew G. Lewsey
  • Sbatie Lama
  • Karam B. Singh
  • Karin Ljung
  • Joseph R. Ecker
  • Alain Goossens
  • A. Harvey Millar
  • Olivier van Aken
External organisations
  • Salk Institute for Biological Studies
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • Ghent University
  • La Trobe University
  • University of Western Australia, Perth
  • CSIRO, Agriculture and Food
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Botany
  • Genetics


  • Jasmonic acid, Mechanical stimulation, Plants, Touch, Transcription
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23345-23356
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number46
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch