Arabidopsis SAG protein containing the MDN1 domain participates in seed germination and seedling development by negatively regulating ABI3 and ABI5

Changtian Chen, Changai Wu, Jiaming Miao, Yunxue Lei, Dongxiao Zhao, Dan Sun, Guodong Yang, Jinguang Huang, Chengchao Zheng
Journal of Experimental Botany 2014, 65 (1): 35-45
Three proteins containing a midasin homologue 1 (MDN1) domain from the yeast Solanum chacoense and Arabidopsis thaliana have important functions in yeast survival, seed development, and female gametogenesis. In this study, a novel protein containing the MDN1 domain from Arabidopsis negatively regulated abscisic acid (ABA) signalling during seed germination. Seeds of a T-DNA insertion line of this gene exhibited increased sensitivity to ABA during seed germination and seedling development (named sag). By contrast, seeds with overexpressed AtSAG (OX2) were less sensitive to ABA. The seeds of the sag mutant showed similar sensitivity to high concentrations of mannitol and NaCl during these stages. AtSAG was also highly expressed in germinating seeds. However, ABA-induced AtSAG expression remained almost unchanged. ABA-responsive marker genes, including ABI3, ABI5, Em1, Em6, RD29A, and RAB18, were upregulated in sag mutants but were downregulated in OX2. Genetic analyses indicated that the function of AtSAG in ABA signalling depended on ABI3 and ABI5. The expression of some target genes of ABI3 and ABI5, such as seed storage protein and oleosin genes, was induced higher by ABA in sag mutants than in wild-type germinated seeds, even higher than in abi5 mutants. This finding indicated that other regulators similar to ABI3 or ABI5 played a role during these stages. Taken together, these results indicate that AtSAG is an important negative regulator of ABA signalling during seed germination and seedling development.

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