The Plant Cell, 2021
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Abstract Oxygen deprivation caused by flooding activates acclimation responses to stress and restricts plant growth. After experiencing flooding stress, plants must restore normal growth; however, which genes are dynamically and precisely controlled by flooding stress remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana ubiquitin E3 ligase SUBMERGENCE RESISTANT1 (SR1) regulates the stability of the transcription factor WRKY33 to modulate the submergence response. SR1 physically interacts with WRKY33 in vivo and in vitro and controls its ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. Both the sr1 mutant and WRKY33 overexpressors exhibited enhanced submergence tolerance and enhanced expression of hypoxia-responsive genes. Genetic experiments showed that WRKY33 functions downstream of SR1 during the submergence response. Submergence induced the phosphorylation of WRKY33, which enhanced the activation of RAP2.2, a positive regulator of hypoxia-response genes. Phosphorylated WRKY33 and RAP2.2 were degraded by SR1 and the N-degron pathway during reoxygenation, respectively. Taken together, our findings reveal that the on-and-off module SR1-WRKY33-RAP2.2 is connected to the well-known N-degron pathway to regulate acclimation to submergence in Arabidopsis. These two different but related modulation cascades precisely balance submergence acclimation with normal plant growth.