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Rice ABI5-Like1 Regulates Abscisic Acid and Auxin Responses by Affecting the Expression of ABRE-Containing Genes

Yang, Xi, Yang, Ya-Nan, Xue, Liang-Jiao, Zou, Mei-Juan, Liu, Jian-Ying, Chen, Fan, Xue, Hong-Wei
Plant physiology 2011 v.156 no.3 pp. 1397-1409
Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, abscisic acid, biotic stress, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, indole acetic acid, leucine zipper, metabolism, mutants, nucleic acid hybridization, osmotic pressure, plant development, plant response, rice, stress response, transcription factors
Abscisic acid (ABA) regulates plant development and is crucial for plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. Studies have identified the key components of ABA signaling in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), some of which regulate ABA responses by the transcriptional regulation of downstream genes. Here, we report the functional identification of rice (Oryza sativa) ABI5-Like1 (ABL1), which is a basic region/leucine zipper motif transcription factor. ABL1 is expressed in various tissues and is induced by the hormones ABA and indole-3-acetic acid and stress conditions including salinity, drought, and osmotic pressure. The ABL1 deficiency mutant, abl1, shows suppressed ABA responses, and ABL1 expression in the Arabidopsis abi5 mutant rescued the ABA sensitivity. The ABL1 protein is localized to the nucleus and can directly bind ABA-responsive elements (ABREs; G-box) in vitro. A gene expression analysis by DNA chip hybridization confirms that a large proportion of down-regulated genes of abl1 are involved in stress responses, consistent with the transcriptional activating effects of ABL1. Further studies indicate that ABL1 regulates the plant stress responses by regulating a series of ABRE-containing WRKY family genes. In addition, the abl1 mutant is hypersensitive to exogenous indole-3-acetic acid, and some ABRE-containing genes related to auxin metabolism or signaling are altered under ABL1 deficiency, suggesting that ABL1 modulates ABA and auxin responses by directly regulating the ABRE-containing genes.