Plants frequently face challenges caused by various abiotic stresses, including drought, and have evolved defense mechanisms to counteract the deleterious effects of these stresses. The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is involved in signal transduction pathways that mediate defense responses of plants to abiotic stress. Here, we report a new function of the CaDIN1 protein in defense responses to abiotic stress. The CaDIN1 gene was strongly induced in pepper leaves exposed to ABA, NaCl, and drought stresses. CaDIN1 proteins share high sequence homology with other known DIN1 proteins and are localized in chloroplasts. We generated CaDIN1-silenced peppers and overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants and evaluated their response to ABA and drought stress. Virus-induced gene silencing of CaDIN1 in pepper plants conferred enhanced tolerance to drought stress, which was accompanied by low levels of lipid peroxidation in dehydrated leaves. CaDIN1-overexpressing transgenic plants exhibited reduced sensitivity to ABA during seed germination and seedling stages. Transgenic plants were more vulnerable to drought than that by the wild-type plants because of decreased expression of ABA responsive stress-related genes and reduced stomatal closure in response to ABA. Together, these results suggest that CaDIN1 modulates drought sensitivity through ABA-mediated cell signaling.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 23, 2014
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