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Plant Cell Environ. 2010 Nov;33(11):1838-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2010.02188.x.

Mechanisms independent of abscisic acid (ABA) or proline feedback have a predominant role in transcriptional regulation of proline metabolism during low water potential and stress recovery.

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1
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan.

Abstract

Proline accumulation in response to abiotic stress is controlled partially by transcriptional regulation of key enzymes including Δ¹-pyrroline-carboxylate synthetase1 (P5CS1), proline dehydrogenase (ProDH), ornithine amino transferase (OAT) and Δ¹-pyrroline-carboxylate dehydrogenase (P5CDH). For these genes, the role of abscisic acid (ABA), role of feedback regulation by high proline and the mechanisms of gene regulation upon stress release remain unclear. An ABA-deficient (aba2-1) mutant, mutants deficient in proline accumulation (p5cs1), as well as double mutants deficient in both, were used to determine the importance of these factors in transcriptional regulation of proline metabolism. Upregulation of P5CS1 by low water potential was less dependent on ABA than that of stress-marker genes used for comparison. ProDH downregulation by low water potential and upregulation by stress release was not impaired in aba2-1, p5cs1 or p5cs1/aba2-1 compared with wild type despite differing ABA and proline levels in these mutants. Thus, ProDH is a model for characterization of novel regulatory mechanisms associated with low water potential and stress recovery. Both OAT and P5CDH were upregulated during low water potential. This contrasts with previous salt stress experiments and raises questions about the flux of metabolites through proline metabolism under low water potential when high levels of proline accumulate.

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