ROP11 GTPase is a negative regulator of multiple ABA responses in Arabidopsis

Zixing Li, Jun Kang, Ning Sui, Dong Liu
Journal of Integrative Plant Biology 2012, 54 (3): 169-79
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays crucial roles in plant development and plant responses to environmental stresses. Although ABA receptors and a minimal set of core molecular components have recently been discovered, understanding of the ABA signaling pathway is still far from complete. In this work, we characterized the function of ROP11, a member of the plant-specific ROP small GTPases family, in the ABA signaling process. ROP11 is preferentially expressed in guard cells in all plant organs with stomata. Expression of a constitutively active ROP11 (CA-ROP11) suppresses ABA-mediated responses, whereas reduced expression of ROP11 or expression of its dominant-negative form (DN-ROP11) causes the opposite phenotypes. The affected ABA-mediated responses by ROP11 include seed germination, seedling growth, stomatal closure, induction of ABA-responsive genes, as well as plant response to drought stress. Furthermore, we showed that ROP11 and its closest-related family member, ROP10, act in parallel in mediating these responses. ABA treatment does not affect ROP11 transcription and protein abundance; however, it causes the accumulation of CA-ROP11 in the nucleus. These results demonstrated that ROP11 is a negative regulator of multiple ABA responses in Arabidopsis.

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