New functions of CDF factors in the regulation of plant growth and metabolism
In terrestrial environments, water and nutrient availabilities and temperature conditions are highly variable, and especially in extreme environments limit survival, growth and reproduction of plants. In this work it is described the multifaceted role of CDF factors acting on both flowering time and abiotic stress tolerance.
Abiotic stresses such as drought, salinity, extreme temperatures and nutrient deficiency are among the most important environmental factors that limit plant growth, development and productivity. To sustain growth and maintain cell integrity under unfavourable environmental conditions, plants develop a variety of biochemical and physiological mechanisms, orchestrated by a large set of stress-responsive genes and a complex network of transcription factors. Recently, Cycling DOF Factors (CDFs), a group of plant-specific transcription factors (TFs), were identified as components of the transcriptional regulatory networks involved in the control of abiotic stress responses. The majority of the members of this TF family are activated in response to a wide range of adverse environmental conditions in different plant species. CDFs regulate different aspects of plant growth and development like the photoperiodic flowering-time control or root and shoot growth. While most of the functional characterization of CDFs has been reported in Arabidopsis, recent data suggest that their diverse roles extend to other plant species. In this work, we integrate information related to structure and functions of CDFs in plants, with special emphasis on their role in plant responses to adverse environmental conditions.