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New Phytol. 2014 Jul;203(1):81-93. doi: 10.1111/nph.12785. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Abscisic acid (ABA) sensitivity regulates desiccation tolerance in germinated Arabidopsis seeds.

Author information

1
Wageningen Seed Lab, Laboratory of Plant Physiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, 6708 PB, the Netherlands.

Abstract

During germination, orthodox seeds lose their desiccation tolerance (DT) and become sensitive to extreme drying. Yet, DT can be rescued, in a well-defined developmental window, by the application of a mild osmotic stress before dehydration. A role for abscisic acid (ABA) has been implicated in this stress response and in DT re-establishment. However, the path from the sensing of an osmotic cue and its signaling to DT re-establishment is still largely unknown. Analyses of DT, ABA sensitivity, ABA content and gene expression were performed in desiccation-sensitive (DS) and desiccation-tolerant Arabidopsis thaliana seeds. Furthermore, loss and re-establishment of DT in germinated Arabidopsis seeds was studied in ABA-deficient and ABA-insensitive mutants. We demonstrate that the developmental window in which DT can be re-established correlates strongly with the window in which ABA sensitivity is still present. Using ABA biosynthesis and signaling mutants, we show that this hormone plays a key role in DT re-establishment. Surprisingly, re-establishment of DT depends on the modulation of ABA sensitivity rather than enhanced ABA content. In addition, the evaluation of several ABA-insensitive mutants, which can still produce normal desiccation-tolerant seeds, but are impaired in the re-establishment of DT, shows that the acquisition of DT during seed development is genetically different from its re-establishment during germination.

KEYWORDS:

ABA signaling; ABA-insensitive (abi) mutants; Arabidopsis; abscisic acid (ABA); desiccation tolerance (DT); germination; re-establishment of DT; seed development

PMID:
24697728
DOI:
10.1111/nph.12785
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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