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Involvement of genes encoding ABI1 protein phosphatases in the response of Brassica napus L. to drought stress

  • Babula-Skowrońska, Danuta1
  • Ludwików, Agnieszka2
  • Cieśla, Agata2
  • Olejnik, Anna3
  • Cegielska-Taras, Teresa3
  • Bartkowiak-Broda, Iwona3
  • Sadowski, Jan2
  • 1 Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Plant Genetics, Strzeszyńska 34, Poznan, 60-479, Poland , Poznan (Poland)
  • 2 Adam Mickiewicz University, Department of Biotechnology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, Umultowska 89, Poznan, 61-614, Poland , Poznan (Poland)
  • 3 Research Division in Poznań, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute – National Research Institute, Strzeszyńska 36, Poznan, 60-479, Poland , Poznan (Poland)
Published Article
Plant Molecular Biology
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Jun 10, 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s11103-015-0334-x
Springer Nature


In this report we characterized the ArabidopsisABI1 gene orthologue and Brassica napus gene paralogues encoding protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C, group A), which is known to be a negative regulator of the ABA signaling pathway. Six homologous B. napus sequences were identified and characterized as putative PP2C group A members. To gain insight into the conservation of ABI1 function in Brassicaceae, and understand better its regulatory effects in the drought stress response, we generated transgenic B. napus plants overexpressing A. thalianaABI1. Transgenic plants subjected to drought showed a decrease in relative water content, photosynthetic pigments content and expression level of RAB18- and RD19A-drought-responsive marker genes relative to WT plants. We present the characterization of the drought response of B. napus with the participation of ABI1-like paralogues. The expression pattern of two evolutionarily distant paralogues, BnaA01.ABI1.a and BnaC07.ABI1.b in B. napus and their promoter activity in A. thaliana showed differences in the induction of the paralogues under dehydration stress. Comparative sequence analysis of both BnaABI1 promoters showed variation in positions of cis-acting elements that are especially important for ABA- and stress-inducible expression. Together, these data reveal that subfunctionalization following gene duplication may be important in the maintenance and functional divergence of the BnaABI1 paralogues. Our results provide a framework for a better understanding of (1) the role of ABI1 as a hub protein regulator of the drought response, and (2) the differential involvement of the duplicated BnaABI1 genes in the response of B. napus to dehydration-related stresses.

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