J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2019, Vol. 61 ›› Issue (4): 478-491.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.12714

Special Issue: Abiotic Stresses

• Molecular Physiology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

ZmOST1 mediates abscisic acid regulation of guard cell ion channels and drought stress responses

Qiqi Wu, Mei Wang, Jianlin Shen, Donghua Chen, Yu Zheng and Wei Zhang*   

  1. Key Laboratory of Plant Development and Environmental Adaption Biology, Ministry of Education; School of Life Science, Shandong University, Tsingtao 266237, China.


    Email: Wei Zhang (weizhang@sdu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2018-05-09 Accepted:2018-08-26 Online:2018-08-30 Published:2019-04-01


The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is an important mediator in the drought response, participating in, among other processes, stomatal movements. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the serine/threonine protein kinase, OST1, regulates this response, but the function of its maize homolog has yet to be established. Here, we isolated ZmOST1 and show that its encoded protein indeed acts to regulate guard cell movement. ZmOST1 was ubiquitously expressed throughout the plant, being highly expressed in guard cells, and inducible both by exogenous ABA and water stress. Transient expression of a ZmOST1-GFP fusion protein, in maize mesophyll protoplasts, indicated its subcellular localization in the cytoplasm and nucleus. A Zmost1 loss-of-function mutant exhibited reduced sensitivity to ABA-activated slow anion channels in maize guard cells, and reduced drought tolerance. Constitutive expression of ZmOST1, in an A. thaliana ost1-1 mutant rescued the phenotype with respect both to the sensitivity of guard cell slow anion currents to ABA treatment and stomatal closure. Our findings indicate a positive regulatory role for ZmOST1 in guard cell ABA signaling and drought response in maize plants.

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