Abstract Transcriptomic analysis was conducted in leaves of Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion ERF109-knocked out (KO) mutant or plants overexpressing (OE) the gene to detect its role in driving expression of programmed cell death- (PCD-) or growth-related genes under high salt (200 mM NaCl) stress. The analysis yielded ~22–24 million reads, of which 90% mapped to the Arabidopsis reference nuclear genome. Hierarchical cluster analysis of gene expression and principal component analysis (PCA) successfully separated transcriptomes of the two stress time points. Analysis indicated the occurrence of 65 clusters of gene expression with transcripts of four clusters differed at the genotype (e.g., WT (wild type), KO ERF109 or OE ERF109 ) level. Regulated transcripts involved DIAP1-like gene encoding a death-associated inhibitor of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Other ERF109-regulated transcripts belong to gene families encoding ROS scavenging enzymes and a large number of genes participating in three consecutive pathways, e.g., phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan biosynthesis, tryptophan metabolism and plant hormone signal transduction. We investigated the possibility that ERF109 acts as a “master switch” mediator of a cascade of consecutive events across these three pathways initially by driving expression of ASA1 and YUC2 genes and possibly driving GST, IGPS and LAX2 genes. Action of downstream auxin-regulator, auxin-responsive as well as auxin carrier genes promotes plant cell growth under adverse conditions.