The plant cuticle is required for osmotic stress regulation of abscisic acid biosynthesis and osmotic stress tolerance in Arabidopsis

Zhenyu Wang, Liming Xiong, Wenbo Li, Jian-Kang Zhu, Jianhua Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Osmotic stress activates the biosynthesis of abscisic acid (ABA). One major step in ABA biosynthesis is the carotenoid cleavage catalyzed by a 9-cis epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED). To understand the mechanism for osmotic stress activation of ABA biosynthesis, we screened for Arabidopsis thaliana mutants that failed to induce the NCED3 genee xpression in response to osmotic stress treatments. The ced1 (for 9-cis epoxycarotenoid dioxy genase defective 1) mutant isolated in this study showed markedly reduced expression of NCED3 in response to osmotic stress (polyethylene glycol)treatments compared with the wild type. Other ABA biosynthesis genes are also greatly reduced in ced1 under osmotic stress. ced1 mutant plants are very sensitive to even mild osmotic stress. Map-based cloning revealed unexpectedly thatCED1 encodes a putative a/b hydrolase domain-containing protein and is allelic to the BODYGUARD gene that was recently shown to be essential for cuticle biogenesis. Further studies discovered that other cut in biosynthesis mutants are also impaired in osmotic stress induction of ABA biosynthesis genes and are sensitive to osmotic stress. Our work demonstrates that the cuticle functions not merely as a physical barrier to minimize water loss but also mediates osmotic stress signaling and tolerance by regulating ABA biosynthesis and signaling. © 2011 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1971-1984
Number of pages14
JournalThe Plant Cell
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 24 2011

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Paul E. Verslues for help with the initial phase of the work, Iida Kei for help with analyzing the microarray data, and Rebecca Stevenson for technical assistance. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grants R01GM070795 and R01GM059138 to J.-K.Z. and by National Science Foundation Grant IOS0919745 to J.Z.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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