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Plant J. 2007 May;50(3):414-28. Epub 2007 Mar 21.

Structural analogs of ABA reveal novel features of ABA perception and signaling in Arabidopsis.

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Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council of Canada, 110 Gymnasium Place, Saskatoon S7N 0W9, Canada.


Changes in gene expression produced by the application of (+)-abscisic acid (ABA) to Arabidopsis thaliana plants were compared with changes produced by the ABA structural analogs (-)-ABA, (+)-8'-acetylene ABA and (-)-2',3'-dihydroacetylenic abscisyl alcohol. The maximum expression of many rapidly (+)-ABA-induced genes occurred prior to peak hormone accumulation, suggesting negative feedback regulation that may be mediated by the induction of genes encoding PP2C-type protein phosphatases. For most rapidly (+)-ABA-induced genes, expression was delayed in ABA analog treatments although analogs accumulated to higher levels than did (+)-ABA. For each analog, some genes exhibited a hypersensitive response to the analog and some genes were less sensitive to the analog than to (+)-ABA. Variations in the sensitivity of gene expression to (+)-ABA and analogs reflect the different structural requirements of two or more classes of hormone receptors. By using ABA analogs to reveal and confirm weakly (+)-ABA-regulated genes, we estimate that 14% of Arabidopsis genes are ABA-regulated in aerial tissues. Treatments with the analog (+)-8'-acetylene ABA (PBI425) led to the identification of new ABA-regulated genes. As an example, the transcription factor MYBR1 was significantly induced by PBI425, but not by (+)-ABA, and is shown to play a role in ABA signaling by phenotypic analysis of gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutants.

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