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Antagonistic shifting from abscisic acid- to salicylic acid-mediated sucrose accumulation contributes to drought tolerance in Brassica napus

La, Van Hien, Lee, Bok-Rye, Islam, Md. Tabibul, Park, Sang-Hyun, Lee, Hyo, Bae, Dong-Won, Kim, Tae-Hwan
Environmental and experimental botany 2019 v.162 pp. 38-47
Brassica napus, abscisic acid, biomass, drought, drought tolerance, genes, hexokinase, hormonal regulation, leaves, metabolism, osmotic pressure, pathogenesis-related proteins, phloem, plant stress, salicylic acid, starch, stress response, sucrose, sucrose-phosphate synthase, synergism, water stress
The phytohormone salicylic acid (SA), as an important signaling molecule involved in the regulation of plant stress responses. This study aimed to characterize the hormonal regulation of drought-responsive sugar metabolism, focusing on SA-mediated sucrose modulation with regard to the drought resistance mechanism. The responses of sucrose synthesis, starch degradation, sucrose transport, as well as stress symptom development to SA pretreatment and/or drought imposition were interpreted in relation to the altered endogenous hormonal status and their signaling genes. Drought-induced severe reduction of leaf biomass coincided with the highest endogenous level of abscisic acid (ABA) and expression of SAG12. Under drought-stressed, sugar accumulation was mainly due to the enhanced hexose level with depressed expression of hexokinase gene HXK1 and, in part, to increased sucrose content with the highest expression of ABA-dependent sucrose signaling genes SnRK2.2 and AREB2. In the presence of SA, an additional sucrose accumulation occurred with further enhancement of sucrose phosphate synthase (SPS) activity and starch degradation-related genes BAM1 and AMY3 expression, which coincided with the depression of SnRK2.2 and AREB2. Further, SA-mediated sucrose accumulation was responsible for the induction of phloem sucrose loading with enhanced expression of sucrose transporter genes SUT1 and SUT4. SA-mediated pathogenesis-related protein 2 (PR2) activation reflected a synergistic interaction between SA and sucrose signaling. These results indicate that antagonistic shifting from ABA- to SA-mediated sucrose accumulation is an important process in regulating osmotic potential and leaf senescence.