RopGEF2 is involved in ABA-suppression of seed germination and post-germination growth ofArabidopsis

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The involvement of Rho of Plants (ROP) GTPases in abscisic acid (ABA) signalling in Arabidopsis has been demonstrated in many studies. However, the roles of RopGEFs (Rop guanine nucleotide exchange factors), which modulate ROP activities in ABA signalling, are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that RopGEF2 may play a negative role in ABA-suppressed seed germination and post-germination growth. We show that disruption of RopGEF2 enhances sensitivity to exogenous ABA in seed germination assays and that RopGEF2pro-GUS is mainly expressed in developing embryos and germinating seeds. Interestingly, YFP-RopGEF2 is located in both the cytoplasmic region and in mitochondria. Notably, the PRONE2 (plant-specific ROP nucleotide exchanger 2) domain of RopGEF2 is detected in mitochondria, whereas the N-terminus of RopGEF2 is shown to be in the cytosol. After ABA treatment, degradation of RopGEF2 is triggered in the cytosol through the ubiquitin-26S proteasome system. The binding of RopGEF2 to ROP2, ROP6 or ROP10, which has been demonstrated to be involved in ABA signalling, not only alters the localization of RopGEF2 but also enables RopGEF2 to escape degradation in the cell. Thus, in this study, we deduce a sophisticated mechanism of ABA-mediated RopGEF2-ROP signalling, which potentially implicates the inactivation of ROPs in responsiveness to ABA.

Significance Statement

Understanding how plants achieve efficient fertilization is key for plant propagation and crop yield. Here we show that FEHLSTART (FST), a basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, is required for the synchronous entry into and progression of male meiosis.

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