Stomata are natural pores of plants and constitute the entry points for water during transpiration. However, they also facilitate the ingress of potentially harmful bacterial pathogens. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays a pivotal role in protecting plants against biotic stress, by regulating stomatal closure. In the present study, we investigated the mechanism whereby ABA influences plant defense responses to Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato (Pst) DC3000, which is a virulent bacterial pathogen of Arabidopsis, at the pre-invasive stage. We found that overexpression of two ABA receptors, namely, RCAR4/PYL10-OX and RCAR5/PYL11-OX (hereafter referred to as RCARs), resulted in ABA-hypersensitive phenotypes being exhibited during the seed germination and seedling growth stages. Sensitivity to ABA enhanced the resistance of RCAR4-OX and RCAR5-OX plants to Pst DC3000, through promoting stomatal closure leading to the development of resistance to this bacterial pathogen. Protein phosphatase HAB1 is an important component that is responsible for ABA signaling and which interacts with ABA receptors. We found that hab1 mutants exhibited enhanced resistance to Pst DC3000; moreover, similar to RCAR4-OX and RCAR5-OX plants, this enhanced resistance was correlated with stomatal closure. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that alteration of RCAR4- or RCAR5-HAB1 mediated ABA signaling influences resistance to bacterial pathogens via stomatal regulation.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 13, 2015
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