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Plant Physiol. 1997 May;114(1):161-6.

Biochemical characterization of the aba2 and aba3 mutants in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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  • 1Michigan State University-Department of Energy Plant Research Laboratory, East Lansing 48824-1312, USA.


Abscisic acid (ABA)-deficient mutants in a variety of species have been identified by screening for precocious germination and a wilty phenotype. Mutants at two new loci, aba2 and aba3, have recently been isolated in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Hynh. (K.M. Léon-Kloosterziel, M. Alvarez-Gil, G.J. Ruijs, S.E. Jacobsen, N.E. Olszewski, S.H. Schwartz, J.A.D. Zeevaart, M. Koornneef [1996] Plant J 10: 655-661), and the biochemical characterization of these mutants is presented here. Protein extracts from aba2 and aba3 plants displayed a greatly reduced ability to convert xanthoxin to ABA relative to the wild type. The next putative intermediate in ABA synthesis, ABA-aldehyde, was efficiently converted to ABA by extracts from aba2 but not by extracts from aba3 plants. This indicates that the aba2 mutant is blocked in the conversion of xanthoxin to ABA-aldehyde and that aba3 is impaired in the conversion of ABA-aldehyde to ABA. Extracts from the aba3 mutant also lacked additional activities that require a molybdenum cofactor (Moco). Nitrate reductase utilizes a Moco but its activity was unaffected in extracts from aba3 plants. Moco hydroxylases in animals require a desulfo moiety of the cofactor. A sulfido ligand can be added to the Moco by treatment with Na2S and dithionite. Treatment of aba3 extracts with Na2S restored ABA-aldehyde oxidase activity. Therefore, the genetic lesion in aba3 appears to be in the introduction of S into the Moco.

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