An ancient and conserved function for armadillo-related proteins in the control of spore and seed germination by abscisic acid

Laura Moody, Younousse Saidi, Daniel Gibbs, Anushree Choudhary, Daniel Holloway, Eleanor Vesty, Kiran Kaur Bansal, Susan Bradshaw, Juliet Coates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
313 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

• Armadillo-related proteins regulate development throughout eukaryotic kingdoms. In the flowering plant Arabidopsis, Armadillo-related ARABIDILLO proteins promote multicellular root branching. ARABIDILLO homologues exist throughout land plants, including in early-diverging species lacking true roots, suggesting that early-evolving ARABIDILLOs had additional biological roles.
• Here we investigate, using molecular genetics, the conservation and diversification of ARABIDILLO protein function in plants separated by ~450 million years of evolution.
• We demonstrate that ARABIDILLO homologues in the moss Physcomitrella regulate a previously undiscovered inhibitory effect of abscisic acid (ABA) on spore germination. Furthermore, we show that Arabidopsis ARABIDILLOs function similarly during seed germination. Early-diverging ARABIDILLO homologues from both Physcomitrella and the lycophyte Selaginella can substitute for ARABIDILLO function during Arabidopsis root development and seed germination.
• We conclude that (i) ABA was co-opted early in plant evolution to regulate functionally analogous processes in spore- and seed-producing plants and (ii) plant ARABIDILLO germination functions were co-opted early into both gametophyte and sporophyte, with a specific rooting function evolving later in the land plant lineage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)940–951
JournalNew Phytologist
Volume211
Issue number3
Early online date4 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • Evolution
  • germination
  • spore
  • seed
  • Armadillo proteins
  • Arabidopsis
  • moss
  • abscisic acid

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