Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 245–263 | Cite as

Interaction network of core ABA signaling components in maize

  • Ying-Ge Wang
  • Feng-Ling Fu
  • Hao-Qiang Yu
  • Tao Hu
  • Yuan-Yuan Zhang
  • Yi Tao
  • Jian-Kang Zhu
  • Yang Zhao
  • Wan-Chen Li


Key message

We defined a comprehensive core ABA signaling network in monocot maize, including the gene expression, subcellular localization and interaction network of ZmPYLs, ZmPP2Cs, ZmSnRK2s and the putative substrates.


The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays an important role in plant developmental processes and abiotic stress responses. In Arabidopsis, ABA is sensed by the PYL ABA receptors, which leads to binding of the PP2C protein phosphatase and activation of the SnRK2 protein kinases. These components functioning diversely and redundantly in ABA signaling are little known in maize. Using Arabidopsis pyl112458 and snrk2.2/3/6 mutants, we identified several ABA-responsive ZmPYLs and ZmSnRK2s, and also ZmPP2Cs. We showed the gene expression, subcellular localization and interaction network of ZmPYLs, ZmPP2Cs, and ZmSnRK2s, and the isolation of putative ZmSnRK2 substrates by mass spectrometry in monocot maize. We found that the ABA dependency of PYL-PP2C interactions is contingent on the identity of the PP2Cs. Among 238 candidate substrates for ABA-activated protein kinases, 69 are putative ZmSnRK2 substrates. Besides homologs of previously reported putative AtSnRK2 substrates, 23 phosphoproteins have not been discovered in the dicot Arabidopsis. Thus, we have defined a comprehensive core ABA signaling network in monocot maize and shed new light on ABA signaling.


Maize ABA signaling ZmPYLs ZmPP2Cs ZmSnRK2s Signaling network 



We thank the technical support from Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Improvement of Maize in Southwest Region and the operation of Confocal Fluorescence Microscope provided form Wenming Wang lab, pSPYNE and pSPYCE vector provided from Shigui Li lab and technical support of bimolecular fluorescence complementation directed by Xuewei Chen lab of Rice Research Institute.

Author contributions

Y-GW, F-LF, H-QY, TH, YYZ preformed the experiments, Y-GW and YT preformed the phosphoproteomics data analysis; YZ and J-KZ provided technical support; Y-GW and YZ wrote the manuscript; YZ and W-CL directed the research.


This project was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (31071433).

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Maize Research InstituteSichuan Agricultural UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, and CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghaiChina

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