Jasmonates regulate transcriptional reprogramming during growth, development, and defense responses. Jasmonoyl-isoleucine, an amino acid conjugate of jasmonic acid (JA), is perceived by the protein complex composed of the F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1) and JASMONATE ZIM DOMAIN (JAZ) proteins, leading to the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of JAZ proteins. This activates basic helix-loop-helix-type MYC transcription factors to regulate JA-responsive genes. Here, we show that the expression of genes encoding other basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors, JASMONATE ASSOCIATED MYC2-LIKE1 (JAM1), JAM2, and JAM3, is positively regulated in a COI1- and MYC2-dependent manner in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). However, contrary to myc2, the jam1jam2jam3 triple mutant exhibited shorter roots when treated with methyl jasmonate (MJ), indicating enhanced responsiveness to JA. Our genome-wide expression analyses revealed that key jasmonate metabolic genes as well as a set of genes encoding transcription factors that regulate the JA-responsive metabolic genes are negatively regulated by JAMs after MJ treatment. Consistently, loss of JAM genes resulted in higher accumulation of anthocyanin in MJ-treated plants as well as higher accumulation of JA and 12-hydroxyjasmonic acid in wounded plants. These results show that JAMs negatively regulate the JA responses in a manner that is mostly antagonistic to MYC2.
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