Plant Molecular Biology Reporter

, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 1158–1168 | Cite as

Leucine-Rich Repeat Receptor-Like Kinase FON1 Regulates Drought Stress and Seed Germination by Activating the Expression of ABA-Responsive Genes in Rice

  • Lei Feng
  • Zhenrui Gao
  • Guiqing Xiao
  • Rongfeng HuangEmail author
  • Haiwen ZhangEmail author
Original Paper


Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) play important roles in regulating plant development and responses to various environmental stresses. FLORAL ORGAN NUMBER1 (FON1), a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase, was reported to participate in the control of vegetative and reproductive development, but little is known about its function in response to abiotic stress in rice. Here, we reported that FON1 was involved in the regulation of water stress and seed germination process by mediating the expression of abscise acid (ABA)-responsive genes. FON1 was expressed mainly in root and shoot and could be induced by NaCl, drought, and ABA treatment. Transgenic plants overexpressing FON1 exhibited enhanced drought stress and reduced accumulation of H2O2 and malondialdehyde compared to the control. In contrast, RNAi-mediated disruption of FON1 resulted in decreased drought stress associated with the excessive ROS accumulation. At the transcription level, several stress-related and ABA-responsive genes, including LEA3, OsbZIP46, APX3, APX5, and CATB, were upregulated in transgenic plants overexpressing FON1, but correspondingly downregulated in RNAi plants. Moreover, overexpression of FON1 led to delayed seed germination, inhibited early root growth, and increased susceptibility to ABA, likely by activating the expression of ABA-responsive homeodomain transcription factors. These results provide new insight into the function of FON1 in the regulation of drought stress and early growth processes by tuning ABA signaling in rice.


FON1 Drought ABA Rice Reactive oxygen species 



Abscise acid


Ascorbate peroxidase 3


Ascorbate peroxidase 5


Catalases B





LEA proteins

Late embryogenesis abundant proteins






RNA interference


Reactive oxygen species


Receptor-like kinases



This work was supported by the Grant Special Foundation of Transgenic Plants in China (2013ZX001-003 and 2014ZX08009-15B).

Supplementary material

11105_2014_718_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Table Supplement 1 The list of primers used in this study (DOCX 18 kb)
11105_2014_718_Fig9_ESM.gif (50 kb)
Figure Supplement 1

Identification of the transgenic plants at the DNA and RNA levels. Analysis of the transgenic rice plants at the DNA level using PCR with specific primers corresponding to the hygromycin gene for the OE lines (A) and the NPTII gene for the Ri lines (B). (C) Analysis of FON1 expression in the leaves of 2-week-old seedlings from the OE, Ri, and WT plants using qPCR with specific primers for FON1. The expression levels in the transgenic plants are relative to the expression in WT plant (set as 1). OsActin1 was used as the internal control. The error bars (SD) are based on three independent experiments (GIF 49 kb)

11105_2014_718_MOESM2_ESM.tif (2.2 mb)
High Resolution image (TIFF 2215 kb)
11105_2014_718_Fig10_ESM.gif (30 kb)
Figure Supplement 2

Seed germination in the Ri and WT plants. All seeds from the Ri and WT plants were placed on wet filter paper, immersed in water, and incubated at 30 °C. Their germination statuses were photographed at 96 h (GIF 30 kb)

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High Resolution image (TIFF 1341 kb)
11105_2014_718_Fig11_ESM.gif (20 kb)
Figure Supplement 3

The effects of ABA and fluridone on seed germination in three OE lines. (A) ABA inhibited seed germination in the FON1 OE lines. The seeds were pretreated with 100 μM fluridone at 4 °C for 48 h and incubated with 0, 5, or 10 μM ABA solutions for 4 days. (B) For the fluridone treatment, all seeds were placed on wet filter paper with 0, 5, or 20 μM fluridone solutions for 4 days. The germination rates of the OE lines were calculated at 36, 48, 60, and 72 h relative to the germination rate of WT plants under the same conditions (GIF 19 kb)

11105_2014_718_MOESM4_ESM.tif (3.4 mb)
High Resolution image (TIFF 3496 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Biotechnology Research InstituteChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.National Key Facility of Crop Gene Resources and Genetic ImprovementBeijingChina

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