RAV1 Negatively Regulates Seed Development by Directly Repressing MINI3 and IKU2 in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT: A plant-specific B3 domain and AP2 domain-containing transcription factor, RAV1 acts as a negative regulator of growth in many plant species and its transcription was downregulated by BR and ABA. In this study, we found that RAV1-overexpressing transgenic plants showed abnormally developed ovules, resulting in reduced seed size, weight, and number in a silique. Interestingly, the endogenous expression of RAV1 fluctuated during seed development; it remained low during the early stage of seed development and sharply increased in the seed maturation stage. In plants, seed development is a complex process that requires coordinated growth of the embryo, endosperm, and maternal integuments. Among many genes that are associated with endosperm proliferation and embryo development, three genes consisting of SHB1, MINI3, and IKU2 form a small unit positively regulating this process, and their expression was regulated by BR and ABA. Using the floral stage-specific RNAs, we found that the expression of MINI3 and IKU2, the two downstream genes of the SHB1-MINI3-IKU2 cascade in the seed development pathway, were particularly reduced in the RAV1-overexpressing transgenic plants. We further determined that RAV1 directly binds to the promoter of MINI3 and IKU2, resulting in their repression. Direct treatment with brassinolide (BL) improved seed development of RAV1-overexpressing plants, but treatment with ABA severely worsened it. Overall, these results suggest that RAV1 is an additional negative player in the early stages of seed development, during which ABA and BR signaling are coordinated.
Project description:Seed development in Arabidopsis and in many dicots involves an early proliferation of the endosperm to form a large embryo sac or seed cavity close to the size of the mature seed, followed by a second phase during which the embryo grows and replaces the endosperm. Short hypocotyl under BLUE1 (SHB1) is a member of the SYG1 protein family in fungi, Caenorhabditis elegans, flies, and mammals. SHB1 gain-of-function enhances endosperm proliferation, increases seed size, and up-regulates the expression of the WRKY transcription factor gene MINISEED3 (MINI3) and the LRR receptor kinase gene HAIKU2 (IKU2). Mutations in either IKU2 or MINI3 retard endosperm proliferation and reduce seed size. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the seed cavity and hence the seed size remain largely unknown. Here, we show that the expression of MINI3 and IKU2 is repressed before fertilization and after 4 days after pollination (DAP), but is activated by SHB1 from 2 to 4 DAP prior to the formation of the seed cavity. SHB1 associates with their promoters but without a recognizable DNA binding motif, and this association is abolished in mini3 mutant. MINI3 binds to W-boxes in, and recruits SHB1 to, its own and IKU2 promoters. Interestingly, SHB1, but not MINI3, activates transcription of pMINI3::GUS or pIKU2::GUS. We reveal a critical developmental switch through the activation of MINI3 expression by SHB1. The recruitment of SHB1 by MINI3 to its own and IKU2 promoters represents a novel two-step amplification to counter the low expression level of IKU2, which is a trigger for endosperm proliferation and seed cavity enlargement.
Project description:In agriculture, seed mass is one of the most important components related to seed yield. <i>MINISEED3</i> (<i>MINI3</i>) which encodes the transcriptional activator WRKY10, is thought to be a pivotal regulator of seed mass. In <i>Arabidopsis</i> SHORT HYPOCOTYL UNDER BLUE1 (SHB1) associates with the promoter of <i>MINI3</i>, regulating embryo cell proliferation (both cell division and elongation), which, in turn, modulates seed mass. Furthermore, the recruitment of SHB1 via MINI3 to both its cognate promoter and that of <i>IKU2</i> implies a two-step amplification for countering the low expression level of <i>IKU2</i>, which is thought to function as a molecular switch for seed cavity enlargement. However, it is largely unknown how embryo cell proliferation, which encompasses both cell division and elongation, is regulated by SHB1 and MINI3 function. Here, we show that a loss of function mutation within the transcriptional coactivator ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3), increases seed mass. Further, AN3 associates with the <i>MINI3</i> promoter <i>in vivo</i>. Genetic evidence indicates that the absence of MINI3 function suppresses the decrease of cell number observed in <i>an3-4</i> mutants by regulating cell division and in turn inhibits increased cell size of the <i>an3-4</i> line by controlling cell elongation. Thus, seed embryo development is modulated via an <i>AN3-MINI3</i> gene cascade. This regulatory model provides a deeper understanding of seed mass regulation, which may in turn lead to increased crop yields.
Project description:We have identified mutant alleles of two sporophytically acting genes, HAIKU2 (IKU2) and MINISEED3 (MINI3). Homozygotes of these alleles produce a small seed phenotype associated with reduced growth and early cellularization of the endosperm. This phenotype is similar to that described for another seed size gene, IKU1. MINI3 encodes WRKY10, a WRKY class transcription factor. MINI3 promoter::GUS fusions show the gene is expressed in pollen and in the developing endosperm from the two nuclei stage at approximately 12 hr postfertilization to endosperm cellularization at approximately 96 hr. MINI3 is also expressed in the globular embryo but not in the late heart stage of embryo development. The early endosperm expression of MINI3 is independent of its parent of origin. IKU2 encodes a leucine-rich repeat (LRR) KINASE (At3g19700). IKU2::GUS has a similar expression pattern to that of MINI3. The patterns of expression of the two genes and their similar phenotypes indicate they may operate in the same genetic pathway. Additionally, we found that both MINI3 and IKU2 showed decreased expression in the iku1-1 mutant. IKU2 expression was reduced in a mini3-1 background, whereas MINI3 expression was unaltered in the iku2-3 mutant. These data suggest the successive action of the three genes IKU1, IKU2, and MINI3 in the same pathway of seed development.
Project description:The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays important roles during seed germination and early seedling development. Here, we characterized the function of the Arabidopsis WRKY6 transcription factor in ABA signaling. The transcript of WRKY6 was repressed during seed germination and early seedling development, and induced by exogenous ABA. The wrky6-1 and wrky6-2 mutants were ABA insensitive, whereas WRKY6-overexpressing lines showed ABA-hypersensitive phenotypes during seed germination and early seedling development. The expression of RAV1 was suppressed in the WRKY6-overexpressing lines and elevated in the wrky6 mutants, and the expression of ABI3, ABI4, and ABI5, which was directly down-regulated by RAV1, was enhanced in the WRKY6-overexpressing lines and repressed in the wrky6 mutants. Electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays showed that WRKY6 could bind to the RAV1 promoter in vitro and in vivo. Overexpression of RAV1 in WRKY6-overexpressing lines abolished their ABA-hypersensitive phenotypes, and the rav1 wrky6-2 double mutant showed an ABA-hypersensitive phenotype, similar to rav1 mutant. Together, the results demonstrated that the Arabidopsis WRKY6 transcription factor played important roles in ABA signaling by directly down-regulating RAV1 expression.
Project description:ATBS1-INTERACTING FACTOR 2 (AIF2) is a non-DNA-binding basic-helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor. Here, we demonstrate that AIF2 negatively modulates brassinosteroid (BR)-induced, BRASSINAZOLE RESISTANT 1 (BZR1)-mediated pollen and seed formation. <i>AIF2</i>-overexpressing <i>Arabidopsis</i> plants (AIF2ox) showed defective pollen grains and seed production while two <i>AIF2</i> knockout mutants, <i>aif2-1</i> and <i>aif2-1</i>/<i>aif4-1</i>, displayed opposite phenotypes. Genes encoding BZR1-regulated positive factors of seed size determination (<i>SHB1</i>, <i>IKU1</i>, <i>MINI3</i>) were suppressed in AIF2ox and genes for negative factors (<i>AP2</i> and <i>ARF2</i>) were enhanced. Surprisingly, BZR1-regulated pollen genes such as <i>SPL</i>, <i>MS1</i>, and <i>TDF1</i> were aberrantly up-regulated in AIF2ox plants. This stage-independent abnormal expression may lead to a retarded and defective progression of microsporogenesis, producing abnormal tetrad microspores and pollen grains with less-effective pollen tube germination. Auxin plays important roles in proper development of flower and seeds: genes for auxin biosynthesis such as <i>TCP</i>s and <i>YUCCA</i>s as well as for positive auxin signalling such as <i>ARF</i>s were suppressed in AIF2ox flowers. Moreover, lipid biosynthesis- and sucrose transport-related genes were repressed, resulting in impaired starch accumulation. Contrarily, sucrose and BR repressed ectopic accumulation of AIF2, thereby increasing silique length and the number of seeds. Taken together, we propose that AIF2 is negatively involved in pollen development and seed formation, and that sucrose- and BR-induced repression of AIF2 positively promotes pollen production and seed formation in <i>Arabidopsis</i>.
Project description:The APETALA1 (AP1)/FRUITFULL (FUL)-like transcription factor OsMADS18 plays diverse functions in rice development, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are far from fully understood. Here, we report that down-regulation of OsMADS18 expression in RNAi lines caused a delay in seed germination and young seedling growth, whereas the overexpression of OsMADS18 produced plants with fewer tillers. In targeted OsMADS18 genome-edited mutants (osmads18-cas9), an increased number of tillers, altered panicle size, and reduced seed setting were observed. The EYFP-OsMADS18 (full-length) protein was localized to the nucleus and plasma membrane but the EYFP-OsMADS18-N (N-terminus) protein mainly localized to the nucleus. The expression of OsMADS18 could be stimulated by abscisic acid (ABA), and ABA stimulation triggered the cleavage of HA-OsMADS18 and the translocation of OsMADS18 from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. The inhibitory effect of ABA on seedling growth was less effective in the OsMADS18-overexpressing plants. The expression of a set of ABA-responsive genes was significantly reduced in the overexpressing plants. The phenotypes of transgenic plants expressing EYFP-OsMADS18-N resembled those observed in the osmads18-cas9 mutants. Analysis of the interaction of OsMADS18 with OsMADS14, OsMADS15, and OsMADS57 strongly suggests an essential role for OsMADS18 in rice development.
Project description:The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) and the lipoxygenases (LOXs) pathway play important roles in seed germination and seedling growth and development. Here, we reported on the functional characterization of Arabidopsis CPR5 in the ABA signaling and LOX pathways. The cpr5 mutant was hypersensitive to ABA in the seed germination, cotyledon greening and root growth, whereas transgenic plants overexpressing CPR5 were insensitive. Genetic analysis demonstrated that CPR5 gene may be located downstream of the ABI1 in the ABA signaling pathway. However, the cpr5 mutant showed an ABA independent drought-resistant phenotype. It was also found that the cpr5 mutant was hypersensitive to NDGA and NDGA treatment aggravated the ABA-induced delay in the seed germination and cotyledon greening. Taken together, these results suggest that the CPR5 plays a regulatory role in the regulation of seed germination and early seedling growth through ABA and LOX pathways independently.
Project description: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.
Project description:NHL (NDR1/HIN1-like) genes play crucial roles in pathogen induced plant responses to biotic stress. Here, we report the possible function of NHL6 in plant response to abscisic acid (ABA) and abiotic stress. NHL6 was highly expressed in non-germinated seeds, and its expression was strongly induced by ABA and multiple abiotic stress signals. Loss-of-function of NHL6 decreased sensitivity to ABA in the early developmental stages including seed germination and post-germination seedling growth of the nhl6 mutants. However, overexpression of NHL6 increased sensitivity to ABA, salt and osmotic stress of the transgenic plants. Further studies indicated that the increased sensitivity in the 35S::NHL6 overexpressing plants could be a result of both ABA hypersensitivity and increased endogenous ABA accumulation under the stress conditions. It was also seen that the ABA-responsive element binding factors AREB1, AREB2 and ABF3 could regulate NHL6 expression at transcriptional level. Our results indicate that NHL6 plays an important role in the abiotic stresses-induced ABA signaling and biosynthesis, particularly during seed germination and early seedling development in Arabidopsis.
Project description:Stomatal movement in response to water availability is an important physiological process in the survival of land plants. The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) and brassinosteroids (BRs) regulate stomatal closure. The physiological functions of ABA and BRs, including germination, cell elongation and stomatal movement, are generally known to be antagonistic. Here, we investigated how BRs affect stomatal movement alone and in combination with ABA. We demonstrate that brassinoslide (BL), the most active BR, promotes stomatal closure in an ABA-independent manner. Interestingly, BL also inhibited ABA-induced stomatal closure when a high concentration of BL was added to ABA. Furthermore, we found that the induction of some genes for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by ABA (AtrbohD, NIA1 and NIA2) and subsequent ROS production were repressed by BL treatment. The BR signaling mutant bri1-301 failed to inhibit ABA-induced stomatal closure upon BL treatment. However, BRI1-overexpressing transgenic plants were hypersensitive to ABA during stomatal closure, and BL reversed ABA-induced stomatal closure more completely than in wild type plants. Taken together, these results suggest that BRs can positively and negatively modulate ABA-induced stomatal closure. Therefore, interactions between ABA and BR signaling are important for the regulation of stomatal closure.