MAP3Kθ1 is Involved in Abscisic Acid Signaling in Drought Tolerance and Seed Germination in Arabidopsis

Liguo Jia, Yuzhen Chen, Mingshou Fan, Wenrao Li*, Jianhua ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades play pivotal roles in mediating environmental stress responses and plant development. In this study, a loss-of-function mutant of Arabidopsis, map3kθ1, exhibited wider stomatal openings, reduced root elongation, and increased seed germination rate compared with its wild type under exogenous abscisic acid (ABA) treatment. MAP3Kθ1 encodes a MAP kinase kinase kinase (MAP3K) with unknown function. Two overexpression lines of MAP3Kθ1 exhibited inhibited seed germination and narrowed stomata, which were aggravated by ABA treatment. Upregulation of MAP3Kθ1 also resulted in stronger drought tolerance, whereas map3kθ1 was more sensitive to water deficiency, partially due to differences in the water-holding capacity of leaves. The MAP3Kθ1-overexpressing lines also showed a greater ability to maintain root elongation under exogenous ABA. Expression of MAP3Kθ1 was inhibited by ABA, H2O2, and methyl viologen treatments in roots. The MAP3Kθ1-overexpressing lines accumulated more ABA by promoting its biogenesis and inhibiting its catabolism, whereas the map3kθ1 mutant accumulated less ABA, compared with wild-type plants. These findings indicate that MAP3Kθ1 promotes ABA accumulation to regulate stomatal movement, root elongation, and seed germination, while the ABA–H2O2 signaling module inhibits MAP3Kθ1 expression through feedback regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-21
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Plant Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Plant Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • Abscisic acid
  • Arabidopsis
  • MAP3Kθ1
  • MAPK
  • Seed germination
  • Stomatal movement


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