Guard cells, which form stoma in leaf epidermis, sense and integrate environmental signals to modulate stomatal aperture in response to diverse conditions. Under drought stress, plants synthesize abscisic acid (ABA), which in turn induces a rapid closing of stoma, to prevent water loss by transpiration. However, many aspects of the molecular mechanism for ABA-mediated stomatal closure are still not understood. Here, we report a novel negative regulator of guard cell ABA signaling, DOR, in Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ). The DOR gene encodes a putative F-box protein, a member of the S-locus F-box-like family related to AhSLF-S 2 and specifically interacting with ASK14 and CUL1. A null mutation in DOR resulted in a hypersensitive ABA response of stomatal closing and a substantial increase of drought tolerance; in contrast, the transgenic plants overexpressing DOR were more susceptible to the drought stress. DOR is strongly expressed in guard cells and suppressed by ABA treatment, suggesting a negative feedback loop of DOR in ABA responses. Double-mutant analyses of dor with ABA-insensitive mutant abi1-1 showed that abi1-1 is epistatic to dor , but no apparent change of phospholipase D α 1 was detected between the wild type and dor . Affymetrix GeneChip analysis showed that DOR likely regulates ABA biosynthesis under drought stress. Taken together, our results demonstrate that DOR acts independent of phospholipase D α 1 in an ABA signaling pathway to inhibit the ABA-induced stomatal closure under drought stress.
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