, Volume 222, Issue 1, pp 98–106 | Cite as

Crosstalk between ABA and auxin signaling pathways in roots of Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh.

  • Christopher D. Rock
  • Xin Sun
Original Article


Studies of abscisic acid (ABA) and auxin have revealed that these pathways impinge on each other. The Daucus carota (L.) Dc3 promoter: uidA (β-glucuronidase: GUS) chimaeric reporter (ProDc3:GUS) is induced by ABA, osmoticum, and the auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) in vegetative tissues of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana (L.) Heynh. Here, we describe the root tissue-specific expression of ProDc3:GUS in the ABA-insensitive-2 (abi2-1), auxin-insensitive-1 (aux1), auxin-resistant-4 (axr4), and rooty (rty1) mutants of Arabidopsis in response to ABA, IAA and synthetic auxins naphthalene acetic acid (NAA), and 2, 4-(dichlorophenoxy) acetic acid. Quantitative analysis of ProDc3:GUS expression showed that the abi2-1 mutant had reduced GUS activity in response to ABA, IAA, or 2, 4-d, but not to NAA. Similarly, chromogenic staining of ProDc3:GUS activity showed that the aux1 and axr4 mutants gave predictable hypomorphic ProDc3:GUS expression phenotypes in roots treated with IAA or 2, 4-d, but not the diffusible auxin NAA. Likewise the rty mutant, which accumulates auxin, showed elevated ProDc3:GUS expression in the absence or presence of hormones relative to wild type. Interestingly, the aux1 and axr4 mutants showed a hypomorphic effect on ABA-inducible ProDc3:GUS expression, demonstrating that ABA and IAA signaling pathways interact in roots. Possible mechanisms of crosstalk between ABA and auxin signaling are discussed.


Arabidopsis Abscisic acid (ABA) Auxin (IAA) Daucus Gene expression Late-Embryogenesis-Abundant protein Mutant Protein phosphatase Root 



Abscisic acid




ABA-Response Element Binding Factors


Auxin-responsive factors


Green fluorescent protein


Indole-3-acetic acid


Indole-3-butyric acid


β-glucuronidase (uidA)

2, 4-D

2, 4-(dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid


Dc3 Promoter Binding Factors




Naphthalene acetic acid



The 1.5 kbp promoter of Dc3




The authors thank Terry Thomas, Texas A&M University, for the gift of ProDc3:GUS transgenic Arabidopsis, the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments, and Kevin Lee, HKUST, for encouragement. This work was funded by Hong Kong Government CERG HKUST 6134/99M and a 2003 Research Enhancement Fund grant from the Texas Tech University Institute for University Research to C.D.R.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  2. 2.The Graduate Department of Molecular and Medical GeneticsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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