The regulator of G-protein signaling (RGS) proteins, recently identified in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana; named as AtRGS1), has a predicted seven-transmembrane structure as well as an RGS box with GTPase-accelerating activity and thus desensitizes the G-protein-mediated signaling. The roles of AtRGS1 proteins in Arabidopsis seed germination and their possible interactions with sugars and abscisic acid (ABA) were investigated in this study. Using seeds that carry a null mutation in the genes encoding RGS protein (AtRGS1) and the α-subunit (AtGPA1) of the G protein in Arabidopsis (named rgs1-2 and gpa1-3, respectively), our genetic evidence proved the involvement of the AtRGS1 protein in the modulation of seed germination. In contrast to wild-type Columbia-0 and gpa1-3, stratification was found not to be required and the after-ripening process had no effect on the rgs1-2 seed germination. In addition, rgs1-2 seed germination was insensitive to glucose (Glc) and sucrose. The insensitivities of rgs1-2 to Glc and sucrose were not due to a possible osmotic stress because the germination of rgs1-2 mutant seeds showed the same response as those of gpa1-3 mutants and wild type when treated with the same concentrations of mannitol and sorbitol. The gpa1-3 seed germination was hypersensitive while rgs1-2 was less sensitive to exogenous ABA. The different responses to ABA largely diminished and the inhibitory effects on seed germination by exogenous ABA and Glc were markedly alleviated when endogenous ABA biosynthesis was inhibited. Hypersensitive responses of seed germination to both Glc and ABA were also observed in the overexpressor of AtRGS1. Analysis of the active endogenous ABA levels and the expression of NCED3 and ABA2 genes showed that Glc significantly stimulated the ABA biosynthesis and increased the expression of NCED3 and ABA2 genes in germinating Columbia seeds, but not in rgs1-2 mutant seeds. These data suggest that AtRGS1 proteins are involved in the regulation of seed germination. The hyposensitivity of rgs1-2 mutant seed germination to Glc might be the result of the impairment of ABA biosynthesis during seed germination.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Plant Science