The ABA INSENSITIVE1 (ABI1) and ABI2 genes encode homologous type-2C protein phosphatases with redundant yet distinct functions in abscisic acid (ABA) responses. Results from Northern blot analysis showed that ABA- and mannitol-inducible expression of the COR47 and COR78/LTI78/RD29A (COR78) genes was more impaired in the abi2 mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh than in the abi1 mutant. Furthermore, ABA-plus-mannitol treatments were additive towards COR47 gene expression; however, the ABA-deficient aba1 mutant showed reduced COR expression relative to the wild type in response to mannitol and ABA-plus-mannitol treatments. These results support the notion that drought- and ABA-signalling pathways are separate yet overlapping. To facilitate quantitative analysis of the genetic control of tissue-specific ABA- and desiccation-response pathways, we analyzed ABA- and mannitol-inducible expression of a carrot (Daucus carota L.) Dc3 promoter:uidA (β-glucuronidase; GUS) chimaeric reporter (Dc3-GUS) in transgenic wild-type, ABA-deficient aba1, and ABA-insensitive abi1 and abi2 mutants. The Dc3 promoter directed ABA-and mannitol-inducible GUS expression in Arabidopsis guard cells and the two treatments were additive. The aba1, abi1, and abi2 mutant genotypes had reduced GUS expression in guard cells of cotyledons in response to mannitol, whereas abi1 and abi2 mutants were reduced in ABA-inducible GUS expression, consistent with overlapping ABA- and drought-response pathways. Quantitative fluorometric GUS assays of leaf extracts showed that abi2 mutants responded less to exogenous ABA than did abi1 mutants, and abi2 mutants responded more to mannitol than did abi1 mutants. We conclude that Dc3-GUS Arabidopsis is a tractable system in which to study tissue-specific ABA and drought signalling and suggest that ABI2 functions predominantly over ABI1 in COR78 and COR47 gene expression and guard-cell Dc3-GUS expression.
- Cold-responsive gene
- Late-embryogenesis-abundant protein
- Protein phosphatase