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Plant J. 2010 Jun 1;62(6):936-47. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2010.04205.x. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

A peroxisomal ABC transporter promotes seed germination by inducing pectin degradation under the control of ABI5.

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Department of Cell Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan.


Seed dormancy is essential for most plants to control the timing of germination. In Arabidopsis thaliana, PED3 is a single-copy gene encoding an ATP-binding cassette transporter that is required for peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation. PED3 is involved in the import of several biologically important molecules into the peroxisome, including very-long-chain fatty acids associated with the breakdown of seed-reserve lipids, and precursors of auxin and jasmonic acid. The germination of ped3 mutants is significantly impaired, suggesting that PED3 regulates dormancy and germination. A transcriptome analysis revealed that many genes containing the core motif of the ABA responsive element (ABRE) in their promoter regions, and the ABA insensitive 5 (ABI5) transcription factor that binds to ABRE, are abnormally up-regulated in imbibed ped3 seeds. Expression of polygalacturonase inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) is also up-regulated specifically in ped3 after imbibition. By contrast, the ped3 abi5 double mutant does not show any of these expression patterns. The results indicate that the abi5 mutation normalizes PGIP expression and rescues the impaired germination phenotype of the ped3 mutant. PGIPs are known to act as inhibitors of polygalacturonases that degrade pectin. The amount of PGIP1 transcript regulates the timing of radicle protrusion. The impaired germination of ped3 could also be rescued by removal of pectin from the seed coat using exogenous polygalacturonase or acidic conditions. Overall, our results suggest that PED3, a peroxisomal ABC transporter, promotes seed germination by suppressing PGIPs under the control of ABI5.

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