Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2018, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (4): 542-555.doi: 10.11983/CBB18080

• SPECIAL TOPICS • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Molecular Mechanism of Abscisic Acid Regulation During Seed Dormancy and Germination

Wu Jinghui, Xie Chuping, Tian Changen, Zhou Yuping*()   

  1. Guangzhou Key Laboratory for Functional Study on Stress-resistant Genes in Plants, School of Life Sciences, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2018-03-30 Accepted:2018-05-02 Online:2018-09-11 Published:2018-07-01
  • Contact: Zhou Yuping
  • About author:† These authors contributed equally to this paper


Abscisic acid (ABA) acts as a major phytohormone in regulating seed dormancy and germination. Endogenous ABA level in the seed and embryo sensitivity to ABA jointly regulate the seed dormancy and germination processes, ensuring that the dormant seed can maintain self-reproductive ability under adverse situations and germinate under optimal conditions. A number of key genes are involved in regulating the ABA metabolism and signaling transduction pathway, and these genes accurately control the processes of embryogenesis, seed maturation, dormancy, and germination via a complicated regulation network. In this paper, we review the latest research in the molecular mechanism of ABA-regulated seed dormancy and germination and pinpoint prospects for future research.

Key words: abscisic acid, seed dormancy, seed germination

Table 1

Key genes involved in seed dormancy"

基因名称 突变体休眠能力 基本功能 参考文献
NCED6/9 变化不显著 ABA合成途径关键代谢酶 Lefebvre et al., 2006
CYP707A1/2 增强 ABA代谢途径关键代谢酶, 其表达受ABI4调控 Kushiro et al., 2004; Okamoto et al., 2006; Shu et al., 2013
ABI3 降低 促进种子发育, 抑制种子萌发 Raz et al., 2001; Dekkers et al., 2016
FUS3 降低 促进种子发育, 增强NCED6NCED9的表达 Raz et al., 2001; Tiedemann et al., 2008; Yamamoto et al., 2010
LEC2 降低 促进种子发育, 促进LEC1、FUC3和DOG1的表达 Raz et al., 2001; Braybrook et al., 2006; Stone et al., 2008
LEC1/L1L 降低 促进种子发育, 激活ABI3、FUS3和LEC2的表达 Raz et al., 2001; Kagaya et al., 2005;
To et al., 2006
DEP 降低 促进ABI3的表达 Barrero et al., 2010
DOG1 降低 种子休眠正向调控因子 Née et al., 2017
ABI4 降低 促进种子发育, 是ABA/GA的关键调控因子 Shu et al., 2013
SPT Col背景中增强;
调控ABI4表达, 在Col和Ler背景下功能相反 Belmonte et al., 2013; Vaistij et al., 2013
CHO1 降低 促进ABA合成, 抑制ABA降解 Yano et al., 2009
MYB96 降低 促进种子休眠, 抑制种子萌发 Lee et al., 2015a, 2015b
ABI5 变化不显著 不直接参与种子休眠调控, 但负调控种子萌发 Piskurewicz et al., 2008; Kanai et al., 2010
bZIP10/25/53 降低 协同促进种子发育 Alonso et al., 2009
WRKY41 降低 促进ABI3转录 Ding et al., 2014
DAG1 降低 促进ABA而抑制GA积累, 正调控种子休眠 Boccaccini et al., 2014, 2016
DOF6 未提及 与RGL2构成复合体, 共同促进种子初级休眠 Ravindran et al., 2017
KYP/SUVH4 增强 抑制DOG1ABI3转录, 负调控种子休眠 Zheng et al., 2012
LDL1/LDL2 增强 抑制DOG1表达, 负调控种子休眠 Zhao et al., 2015

Figure 1

Models of ABA signaling transduction pathway based on ABA receptors PYR/PYL/RCAR and ABAR/CHLHIntracellular ABA receptor PYR/PYL/RCAR exists as a homodimer in the resting state. Upon binding to ABA, PYR/PYL/RCAR turns into monomer and interacts with PP2Cs to release SnRK2s, which phosphorylates transcription factors like ABI5 and RAV1, to activate downstream ABA responsive genes. ABAR/CHLH is a protein across the chloroplast membrane, whose C- and N- ends are exposed to the cytoplasm. In the absence or low levels of ABA, the interaction of CPN20 with ABAR attenuates the interaction between ABAR and the negative regulator WRKY40, meanwhile WRKY40, WRKY18 and WRKY60 directly or indirectly inhibit the expression of ABF4/ABI4/ABI5. In response to a high level of ABA, WRKY40 is recruited from nucleus to the cytosol. C-terminal part of ABA-bound ABAR interacts with WRKY40 and relieves the suppression of ABF4/ABI4/ABI5 by WRKY40, promoting the physiological effects of ABA. RAV1 negatively regulates the ABA signaling by inhibiting the transcription of ABI3/ABI4/ABI5. WRKY6, WRKY41, and NF-YC-RGL2 play the positive roles in the ABA signaling, by down-regulating the expression of RAV1, promoting the expression of ABI3 and ABI5, respectively. (+) and (-) in this figure denote the positive regulation and the negative regulation in the ABA signaling pathway, respectively."

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