A hyper-osmotically sensitive mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, designated hos3-1 (high expression of osmotically responsive genes), was identified based on its hyper-luminescence of RD29A:LUC promoter fusion plants upon treatment with NaCl and ABA. These responses implicate the disrupted gene as a direct or indirect negative regulator of the RD29A stress-responsive pathway. By sequencing the flanking regions of the T-DNA borders, it was determined that the disrupted gene is at locus At4g36830, annotated as encoding a putative protein with high homology to CIG30 (ELO2/FEN1). CIG30 has been implicated in synthesis of very long chain fatty acids (VLCFA), which are essential precursors for sphingolipids and ceramides. Altered stress responses characteristic of ABA-hypersensitivity, including reduced root growth inhibition and reduced germination with ABA treatment and reduced water loss from leaves, were exhibited by allelic hos3-1 and hos3-2 mutants. The hos3-2 mutant is partially suppressed in its transcript abundance and is inherited as a recessive trait. Further, the HOS3 ORF under the control of the 35SCaMV promoter restored wild-type NaCl- and ABA-root growth sensitivity as well as RD29A:LUC luminescence in mutant plants. We also show here that the HOS3 wild-type gene functionally complements the sensitivity of elo2 and elo3 yeast mutants to monensin. Furthermore, both hos3-1 and hos3-2 alleles shared increased sensitivity to the herbicide Metolachlor, which inhibits acyl chain elongation in synthesis of VLCFA, and HOS3 functionally complemented both elo2 and elo3 and restored levels of VLCFA. Together, these data establish that HOS3 inhibits ABA-mediated stress responses and implicate the VLCFA pathway and products as control points for several aspects of abiotic stress signaling and responses. The results also provide support for a role of ceramide in the control of stomatal behavior.
- ABA signal pathway
- Abiotic stress
- Very long chain fatty acid pathway