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The E3 SUMO ligase AtSIZ1 functions in seed germination in Arabidopsis

Kim, Sung‐Il, Kwak, Jun Soo, Song, Jong Tae, Seo, Hak Soo
Physiologia plantarum 2016 v.158 no.3 pp. 256-271
Arabidopsis, abscisic acid, fruits, gene overexpression, genes, gibberellins, mutants, reproduction, ripening, seed dormancy, seed germination, seeds, transgenic plants, vegetative growth
Seed germination is an important stage in the lifecycle of a plant because it determines subsequent vegetative growth and reproduction. Here, we show that the E3 SUMO ligase AtSIZ1 regulates seed dormancy and germination. The germination rates of the siz1 mutants were less than 50%, even after a short period of ripening. However, their germination rates increased to wild‐type levels after cold stratification or long periods of ripening. In addition, exogenous gibberellin (GA) application improved the germination rates of the siz1 mutants to the wild‐type level. In transgenic plants, suppression of AtSIZ1 caused rapid post‐translational decay of SLEEPY1 (SLY1), a positive regulator of GA signaling, during germination, and inducible AtSIZ1 overexpression led to increased SLY1 levels. In addition, overexpressing wild‐type SLY1 in transgenic sly1 mutants increased their germination ratios to wild‐type levels, whereas the germination ratio of transgenic sly1 mutants overexpressing mSLY1 was similar to that of sly1. The germination ratios of siz1 mutant seeds in immature developing siliques were much lower than those of the wild‐type. Moreover, SLY1 and DELAY OF GERMINATION 1 (DOG1) transcript levels were reduced in the siz1 mutants, whereas the transcript levels of DELLA and ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE 3 (ABI3) were higher than those of the wild‐type. Taken together, these results indicate that the reduced germination of the siz1 mutants results from impaired GA signaling due to low SLY1 levels and activity, as well as hyperdormancy due to high levels of expression of dormancy‐related genes including DOG1.