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ABA receptor PYL9 promotes drought resistance and leaf senescence

, : ABA receptor PYL9 promotes drought resistance and leaf senescence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(7): 1949-1954

Drought stress is an important environmental factor limiting plant productivity. In this study, we screened drought-resistant transgenic plants from 65 promoter-pyrabactin resistance 1-like (PYL) abscisic acid (ABA) receptor gene combinations and discovered that pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic lines showed dramatically increased drought resistance and drought-induced leaf senescence in both Arabidopsis and rice. Previous studies suggested that ABA promotes senescence by causing ethylene production. However, we found that ABA promotes leaf senescence in an ethylene-independent manner by activating sucrose nonfermenting 1-related protein kinase 2s (SnRK2s), which subsequently phosphorylate ABA-responsive element-binding factors (ABFs) and Related to ABA-Insensitive 3/VP1 (RAV1) transcription factors. The phosphorylated ABFs and RAV1 up-regulate the expression of senescence-associated genes, partly by up-regulating the expression of Oresara 1. The pyl9 and ABA-insensitive 1-1 single mutants, pyl8-1pyl9 double mutant, and snrk2.2/3/6 triple mutant showed reduced ABA-induced leaf senescence relative to the WT, whereas pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic plants showed enhanced ABA-induced leaf senescence. We found that leaf senescence may benefit drought resistance by helping to generate an osmotic potential gradient, which is increased in pRD29A::PYL9 transgenic plants and causes water to preferentially flow to developing tissues. Our results uncover the molecular mechanism of ABA-induced leaf senescence and suggest an important role of PYL9 and leaf senescence in promoting resistance to extreme drought stress.


PMID: 26831097

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1522840113

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