J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (2): 140-154.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12695

Special Issue: Nutrition and stress

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Alleviation by abscisic acid of Al toxicity in rice bean is not associated with citrate efflux but depends on ABI5-mediated signal transduction pathways

Wei Fan1,2, Jia Meng Xu2, Pei Wu1, Zhi Xin Yang1, He Qiang Lou2, Wei Wei Chen3, Jian Fen Jin2, Shao Jian Zheng2 and Jian Li Yang2*   

  1. 1College of Resources and Environment, Yunan Agricultural University, Kunming 650201, China
    2State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
    3Institute of Life Sciences, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Hangzhou, Normal University, Hangzhou 310036, China


    Email: Jian Li Yang (yangjianli@zju.edu.cn)
  • Received:2018-04-14 Accepted:2018-07-04 Online:2018-07-05 Published:2019-02-01

Abstract: Under conditions of aluminum (Al) toxicity, which severely inhibits root growth in acidic soils, plants rapidly alter their gene expression to optimize physiological fitness for survival. Abscisic acid (ABA) has been suggested as a mediator between Al stress and gene expression, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Here, we investigated ABA-mediated Al-stress responses, using integrated physiological and molecular biology approaches. We demonstrate that Al stress caused ABA accumulation in the root apex of rice bean (Vigna umbellata [Thunb.] Ohwi & Ohashi), which positively regulated Al tolerance. However, this was not associated with known Al-tolerance mechanisms. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that nearly one-third of the responsive genes were shared between the Al-stress and ABA treatments. We further identified a transcription factor, ABI5, as being positively involved in Al tolerance. Arabidopsis abi5 mutants displayed increased sensitivity to Al, which was not related to the regulation of AtALMT1 and AtMATE expression. Functional categorization of ABI5-mediated genes revealed the importance of cell wall modification and osmoregulation in Al tolerance, a finding supported by osmotic stress treatment on Al tolerance. Our results suggest that ABA signal transduction pathways provide an additional layer of regulatory control over Al tolerance in plants.

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