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Article|22 Jul 2022|OPEN
HsfA1a confers pollen thermotolerance through upregulating antioxidant capacity, protein repair, and degradation in Solanum lycopersicum L. 
Dong-Ling Xie1 , Hua-Min Huang1 , Can-Yu Zhou1 , Chen-Xu Liu1 , Mukesh Kumar Kanwar1 , Zhen-Yu Qi2,3 , Jie Zhou,1,2,4,5 ,
1Department of Horticulture, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plant Integrative Biology, Zhejiang University, Yuhangtang Road 866, Hangzhou, 310058, China
2Hainan Institute, Zhejiang University, Sanya, China
3Agricultural Experiment Station, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
4Key Laboratory of Horticultural Plants Growth, Development and Quality Improvement, Agricultural Ministry of China, Yuhangtang Road 866, Hangzhou 310058, China
5Shandong (Linyi) Institute of Modern Agriculture, Zhejiang University, Linyi 276000, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac163 (2022)
Views: 79

Received: 13 Apr 2022
Accepted: 12 Jul 2022
Published online: 22 Jul 2022


The heat shock transcription factors (Hsfs) play critical roles in plant responses to abiotic stresses. However, the mechanism of Hsfs in the regulation of pollen thermotolerance and their specific biological functions and signaling remain unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that HsfA1a played a key role in tomato pollen thermotolerance. Pollen thermotolerance was reduced in hsfA1a mutants but was increased by hsfA1a overexpression, based on pollen viability and germination. Analyzing the whole transcriptome by RNA-seq data, we found that HsfA1a mainly regulated the genes involved in oxidative stress protection, protein homeostasis regulation and protein modification, as well as the response to biological stress in anthers under heat stress. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species in anthers was enhanced in hsfA1a mutants but decreased in HsfA1a-overexpressing lines. Furthermore, HsfA1a bound to the promoter region of genes involved in redox regulation (Cu/Zn-SODGST8, and MDAR1), protein repair (HSP17.6AHSP70-2HSP90-2, and HSP101) and degradation (UBP5UBP18RPN10a, and ATG10) and regulated the expression of these genes in tomato anthers under heat stress. Our findings suggest that HsfA1a maintains pollen thermotolerance and cellular homeostasis by enhancing antioxidant capacity and protein repair and degradation, ultimately improving pollen viability and fertility.