ABA Affects Brassinosteroid-Induced Antioxidant Defense via ZmMAP65-1a in Maize Plants.Plant Cell Physiol. 2015 Jul; 56(7):1442-55.PC
Brassinosteroids (BRs) and ABA co-ordinately regulate water deficit tolerance in maize leaves. ZmMAP65-1a, a maize microtubule-associated protein (MAP) which plays an essential role in BR-induced antioxidant defense, has been characterized previously. However, the interactions among BR, ABA and ZmMAP65-1a in water deficit tolerance remain unexplored. In this study, we demonstrated that ABA was required for BR-induced antioxidant defense via ZmMAP65-1a by using biochemical blocking and ABA biosynthetic mutants. The expression of ZmMAP65-1a in maize leaves and mesophyll protoplasts could be increased under polyethylene glycol- (PEG) stimulated water deficit and ABA treatments. Furthermore, the importance of ABA in the early pathway of BR-induced water deficit tolerance was demonstrated by limiting ABA availability. Blocking ABA biosynthesis biochemically or by a null mutation inhibited the downstream gene expression of ZmMAP65-1a and the activity of ZmMAPK5 in the pathway. It also affected the activities of BR-induced antioxidant defense-related enzymes, namely ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), glutathione reductase (GR), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and NADPH oxidase. In addition, combining results from transiently overexpressed or silenced ZmMAP65-1a in mesophyll protoplasts, we discovered that ZmMAP65-1a mediated the ABA-induced gene expression and activities of APX and SOD. Surprisingly, silencing of ZmMAP65-1a in mesophyll protoplasts did not alter the gene expression of ZmCCaMK and vice versa in response to ABA. Taken together, our data indicate that water deficit-induced ABA is a key mediator in BR-induced antioxidant defense via ZmMAP65-1a in maize.