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Plant Physiol. 2009 May;150(1):463-81. doi: 10.1104/pp.109.135269. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

The Arabidopsis RING finger E3 ligase RHA2a is a novel positive regulator of abscisic acid signaling during seed germination and early seedling development.

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.

Abstract

The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is well known for its regulatory roles in integrating environmental constraints with the developmental programs of plants. Here, we characterize the biological function of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) RING-H2 protein RHA2a in ABA signaling. The rha2a mutant is less sensitive to ABA than the wild type during seed germination and early seedling development, whereas transgenic plants overexpressing RHA2a are hypersensitive, indicating that RHA2a positively regulates ABA-mediated control of seed germination and early seedling development. Double mutant analyses of rha2a with several known ABA-insensitive mutants suggest that the action of RHA2a in ABA signaling is independent of that of the transcription factors ABI3, ABI4, and ABI5. We provide evidence showing that RHA2a also positively regulates plant responses to salt and osmotic stresses during seed germination and early seedling development. RHA2a is a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase, and its conserved RING domain is likely important for the biological function of RHA2a in ABA signaling. Together, these results suggest that the E3 ligase RHA2a is an important regulator of ABA signaling during seed germination and early seedling development.

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