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Plant Physiol. 2008 Aug;147(4):1984-93. doi: 10.1104/pp.108.116632. Epub 2008 Jun 11.

Drought induction of Arabidopsis 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase occurs in vascular parenchyma cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Hachiouji, Tokyo 192-0397, Japan.


The regulation of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis is essential for plant responses to drought stress. In this study, we examined the tissue-specific localization of ABA biosynthetic enzymes in turgid and dehydrated Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) plants using specific antibodies against 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase 3 (AtNCED3), AtABA2, and Arabidopsis aldehyde oxidase 3 (AAO3). Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that in turgid plants, AtABA2 and AAO3 proteins were localized in vascular parenchyma cells most abundantly at the boundary between xylem and phloem bundles, but the AtNCED3 protein was undetectable in these tissues. In water-stressed plants, AtNCED3 was detected exclusively in the vascular parenchyma cells together with AtABA2 and AAO3. In situ hybridization using the antisense probe for AtNCED3 showed that the drought-induced expression of AtNCED3 was also restricted to the vascular tissues. Expression analysis of laser-microdissected cells revealed that, among nine drought-inducible genes examined, the early induction of most genes was spatially restricted to vascular cells at 1 h and then some spread to mesophyll cells at 3 h. The spatial constraint of AtNCED3 expression in vascular tissues provides a novel insight into plant systemic response to drought stresses.

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