||Plant salt tolerance is a complex trait involving many genes. To identify new salt tolerance determinants during seed germination, we have screened a population of chemically inducible activation-tagged Arabidopsis mutants. A mutant, designated stg1 (salt tolerance during germination 1), was obtained. The stg1 mutant is less sensitive than the wild type to NaCl and osmotic stress inhibition of germination in the presence of the inducer. Germination assays on media containing various salts upon inducer application indicate that the stg1 mutation enhances tolerance to Na(+) and K(+). Under salt stress, stg1 maintains a higher K(+)/Na(+) ratio and accumulates less proline than the wild-type control, suggesting that its salt tolerance mechanisms are mainly involved in the regulation of ion balance. STG1 encodes a putative Arabidopsis TATA box-binding protein (TBP)-associated factor 10 (atTAF10), which constitutes the transcriptional factor IID (TFIID) complex. Overexpression of atTAF10 under the control of the 35S promoter in Arabidopsis improves seed tolerance to salt stress during germination and the knocked-down mutant is more sensitive to salt stress, indicating the transcription initiation factor as a physiological target of salt toxicity in plants.