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Article|10 Apr 2023|OPEN
The SmNPR4-SmTGA5 module regulates SA-mediated phenolic acid biosynthesis in Salvia miltiorrhiza hairy roots 
Meiling Ding1 , Bin Zhang1 , Shuo Zhang1 , RongRong Hao1 , Yu Xia1 , Pengda Ma1 , and Juane Dong,1 ,
1College of Life Sciences, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad066 (2023)
Views: 182

Received: 19 Dec 2022
Accepted: 02 Apr 2023
Published online: 10 Apr 2023


Phenolic acids are the main bioactive compounds in Salvia miltiorrhiza, which can be increased by salicylic acid (SA) elicitation. However, the specific molecular mechanism remains unclear. The nonexpresser of PR genes 1 (NPR1) and its family members are essential components of the SA signaling pathway. Here, we report an NPR protein, SmNPR4, that showed strong expression in hairy root after SA treatment, acting as a negative moderator of SA-induced phenolic acid biosynthesis in S. miltiorrhiza (S. miltiorrhiza). Moreover, a basic leucine zipper family transcription factor SmTGA5 was identified and was found to interact with SmNPR4. SmTGA5 activates the expression of phenolic acid biosynthesis gene SmTAT1 through binding to the as-1 element. Finally, a series of biochemical assays and dual gene overexpression analysis demonstrated that the SmNPR4 significantly inhibited the function of SmTGA5, and SA can alleviate the inhibitory effect of SmNPR4 on SmTGA5. Overall, our results reveal the molecular mechanism of salicylic acid regulating phenolic acid biosynthesis in S. miltiorrhiza and provide new insights for SA signaling to regulate secondary metabolic biosynthesis.