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Plant Cell Environ. 2017 Sep;40(9):2004-2016. doi: 10.1111/pce.13006. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

Transcriptomic analysis of rice aleurone cells identified a novel abscisic acid response element.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada Las Vegas, 4505 South Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV, 89154, USA.
Institute of Plant and Microbial Biology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan.
Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 63130, USA.


Seeds serve as a great model to study plant responses to drought stress, which is largely mediated by abscisic acid (ABA). The ABA responsive element (ABRE) is a key cis-regulatory element in ABA signalling. However, its consensus sequence (ACGTG(G/T)C) is present in the promoters of only about 40% of ABA-induced genes in rice aleurone cells, suggesting other ABREs may exist. To identify novel ABREs, RNA sequencing was performed on aleurone cells of rice seeds treated with 20 μM ABA. Gibbs sampling was used to identify enriched elements, and particle bombardment-mediated transient expression studies were performed to verify the function. Gene ontology analysis was performed to predict the roles of genes containing the novel ABREs. This study revealed 2443 ABA-inducible genes and a novel ABRE, designated as ABREN, which was experimentally verified to mediate ABA signalling in rice aleurone cells. Many of the ABREN-containing genes are predicted to be involved in stress responses and transcription. Analysis of other species suggests that the ABREN may be monocot specific. This study also revealed interesting expression patterns of genes involved in ABA metabolism and signalling. Collectively, this study advanced our understanding of diverse cis-regulatory sequences and the transcriptomes underlying ABA responses in rice aleurone cells.


ABA signalling; ABRE; Oryza sativa (rice); aleurone layers; drought; transcriptome

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