Abscisic acid (ABA) regulates developmental processes and abiotic stress responses in plants. We recently characterized a new Arabidopsis mutant, abh1, which shows ABA-hypersensitive regulation of seed germination, stomatal closing, and cytosolic calcium increases in guard cells (V. Hugouvieux, J.M. Kwak, J.I. Schroeder  Cell 106: 477-487). ABH1 encodes the large subunit of a dimeric Arabidopsis mRNA cap-binding complex and in expression profiling experiments was shown to affect mRNA levels of a subset of genes. Here, we show that the dimeric ABH1 and AtCBP20 subunits are ubiquitously expressed. Whole-plant growth phenotypes of abh1 are described and properties of ABH1 in guard cells are further analyzed. Complemented abh1 lines expressing a green fluorescent protein-ABH1 fusion protein demonstrate that ABH1 mainly localizes in guard cell nuclei. Stomatal apertures were smaller in abh1 compared with wild type (WT) when plants were grown at 40% humidity, and similar at 95% humidity. Correlated with stomatal apertures from plants grown at 40% humidity, slow anion channel currents were enhanced and inward potassium channel currents were decreased in abh1 guard cells compared with WT. Gas exchange measurements showed similar primary humidity responses in abh1 and WT, which together with results from abh1/abi1-1 double-mutant analyses suggest that abh1 shows enhanced sensitivity to endogenous ABA. Double-mutant analyses of the ABA-hypersensitive signaling mutants, era1-2 and abh1, showed complex genetic interactions, suggesting that ABH1 and ERA1 do not modulate the same negative regulator in ABA signaling. Mutations in the RNA-binding protein sad1 showed hypersensitive ABA-induced stomatal closing, whereas hyl1 did not affect this response. These data provide evidence for the model that the mRNA-processing proteins ABH1 and SAD1 function as negative regulators in guard cell ABA signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science