Plants are constantly exposed to a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses, which include pathogens and conditions of high salinity, low temperature, and drought. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a major plant hormone involved in signal transduction pathways that mediate the defense response of plants to abiotic stress. Previously, we isolated Ring finger protein gene (CaRING1) from pepper (Capsicum annuum), which is associated with resistance to bacterial pathogens, accompanied by hypersensitive cell death. Here, we report a new function of the CaRING1 gene product in the ABA-mediated defense responses of plants to dehydration stress. The expression of the CaRING1 gene was induced in pepper leaves treated with ABA or exposed to dehydration or NaCl. Virus-induced gene silencing of CaRING1 in pepper plants exhibited low degree of ABA-induced stomatal closure and high levels of transpirational water loss in dehydrated leaves. These led to be more vulnerable to dehydration stress in CaRING1-silenced pepper than in the control pepper, accompanied by reduction of ABA-regulated gene expression and low accumulation of ABA and H2O2. In contrast, CaRING1-overexpressing transgenic plants showed enhanced sensitivity to ABA during the seedling growth and establishment. These plants were also more tolerant to dehydration stress than the wild-type plants because of high ABA accumulation, enhanced stomatal closure and increased expression of stress-responsive genes. Together, these results suggest that the CaRING1 acts as positive factor for dehydration tolerance in Arabidopsis by modulating ABA biosynthesis and ABA-mediated stomatal closing and gene expression.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 7, 2015
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