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Plant Physiol. 2004 May;135(1):325-33. Epub 2004 Apr 30.

Two new alleles of the abscisic aldehyde oxidase 3 gene reveal its role in abscisic acid biosynthesis in seeds.

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  • 1Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Camino de Vera, E-46022 Valencia, Spain.


The abscisic aldehyde oxidase 3 (AAO3) gene product of Arabidopsis catalyzes the final step in abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis. An aao3-1 mutant in a Landsberg erecta genetic background exhibited a wilty phenotype in rosette leaves, whereas seed dormancy was not affected (Seo et al., 2000a). Therefore, it was speculated that a different aldehyde oxidase would be the major contributor to ABA biosynthesis in seeds (Seo et al., 2000a). Through a screening based on germination under high-salt concentration, we isolated two mutants in a Columbia genetic background, initially named sre2-1 and sre2-2 (for salt resistant). Complementation tests with different ABA-deficient mutants indicated that sre2-1 and sre2-2 mutants were allelic to aao3-1, and therefore they were renamed as aao3-2 and aao3-3, respectively. Indeed, molecular characterization of the aao3-2 mutant revealed a T-DNA insertional mutation that abolished the transcription of AAO3 gene, while sequence analysis of AAO3 in aao3-3 mutant revealed a deletion of three nucleotides and several missense mutations. Physiological characterization of aao3-2 and aao3-3 mutants revealed a wilty phenotype and osmotolerance in germination assays. In contrast to aao3-1, both aao3-2 and aao3-3 mutants showed a reduced dormancy. Accordingly, ABA levels were reduced in dry seeds and rosette leaves of both aao3-2 and aao3-3. Taken together, these results indicate that AAO3 gene product plays a major role in seed ABA biosynthesis.

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