Role of PP2C-mediated ABA signaling in the moss Physcomitrella patens

Yoichi Sakata, Kenji Komatsu, Teruaki Taji, Shigeo Tanaka
Plant Signaling & Behavior 2009, 4 (9): 887-9
Plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) is found in a wide range of land plants, from mosses to angiosperms. However, our knowledge concerning the function of ABA is limited to some angiosperm plant species. We have shown that the basal land plant Physcomitrella patens and the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana share a conserved abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway mediated through ABI1-related type 2C protein phosphatases (PP2Cs). Ectopic expression of Arabidopsis abi1-1, a dominant allele of ABI1 that functions as a negative regulator of ABA signaling, or targeted disruption of Physcomitrella ABI1-related gene (PpABI1A) resulted in altered ABA sensitivity and abiotic stress tolerance of Physcomitrella, as demonstrated by osmostress and freezing stress. Moreover, transgenic Physcomitrella overexpressing abi1-1 showed altered morphogenesis. These transgenic plants had longer stem lengths compared to the wild type, and continuous growth of archegonia (female organ) with few sporophytes under non-stress conditions. Our results suggest that PP2C-mediated ABA signaling is involved in both the abiotic stress responses and developmental regulation of Physcomitrella.

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