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CKB1 is involved in abscisic acid and gibberellic acid signaling to regulate stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana


Casein kinase II (CK2), an evolutionarily well-conserved Ser/Thr kinase, plays critical roles in all higher organisms including plants. CKB1 is a regulatory subunit beta of CK2. In this study, homozygous T-DNA mutants (ckb1-1 and ckb1-2) and over-expression plants (35S:CKB1-1, 35S:CKB1-2) of Arabidopsis thaliana were studied to understand the role of CKB1 in abiotic stress and gibberellic acid (GA) signaling. Histochemical staining showed that although CKB1 was expressed in all organs, it had a relatively higher expression in conducting tissues. The ckb1 mutants showed reduced sensitivity to abscisic acid (ABA) during seed germination and seedling growth. The increased stomatal aperture, leaf water loss and proline accumulation were observed in ckb1 mutants. In contrast, the ckb1 mutant had increased sensitivity to polyaluminum chloride during seed germination and hypocotyl elongation. We obtained opposite results in over-expression plants. The expression levels of a number of genes in the ABA and GA regulatory network had changed. This study demonstrates that CKB1 is an ABA signaling-related gene, which subsequently influences GA metabolism, and may play a positive role in ABA signaling.

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We thank Professor Xianming Chen, from Wheat Genetics, Quality, Physiology, and Disease Research Unit, USDA-ARS, and Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, for revising this paper. This research was supported by Grants from the National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics (2015), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31540064, 31071076 and 30871325), the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University (NCET-10-0363), the Excellent Youth Foundation of Hunan Province (11JJ1005), the Ph.D. Programs Foundation of Ministry of Education of China (20130161110005), Hunan Provincial Innovation Foundation for Postgraduate (CX2015B073, CX2016B097), and Key Research and Development Project of Hunan Provincial Department of Science and Technology (2016WK2003).

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Correspondence to Xinhong Guo.

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Yuan, C., Ai, J., Chang, H. et al. CKB1 is involved in abscisic acid and gibberellic acid signaling to regulate stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana . J Plant Res 130, 587–598 (2017).

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  • Casein kinase II
  • ABA
  • GA
  • Signaling
  • T-DNA mutants
  • Over-expression