Mutation of SPOTTED LEAF3 (SPL3) impairs abscisic acid-responsive signalling and delays leaf senescence in rice.J Exp Bot. 2015 Dec; 66(22):7045-59.JE
Lesion mimic mutants commonly display spontaneous cell death in pre-senescent green leaves under normal conditions, without pathogen attack. Despite molecular and phenotypic characterization of several lesion mimic mutants, the mechanisms of the spontaneous formation of cell death lesions remain largely unknown. Here, the rice lesion mimic mutant spotted leaf3 (spl3) was examined. When grown under a light/dark cycle, the spl3 mutant appeared similar to wild-type at early developmental stages, but lesions gradually appeared in the mature leaves close to heading stage. By contrast, in spl3 mutants grown under continuous light, severe cell death lesions formed in developing leaves, even at the seedling stage. Histochemical analysis showed that hydrogen peroxide accumulated in the mutant, likely causing the cell death phenotype. By map-based cloning and complementation, it was shown that a 1-bp deletion in the first exon of Oryza sativa Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Kinase Kinase1 (OsMAPKKK1)/OsEDR1/OsACDR1 causes the spl3 mutant phenotype. The spl3 mutant was found to be insensitive to abscisic acid (ABA), showing normal root growth in ABA-containing media and delayed leaf yellowing during dark-induced and natural senescence. Expression of ABA signalling-associated genes was also less responsive to ABA treatment in the mutant. Furthermore, the spl3 mutant had lower transcript levels and activities of catalases, which scavenge hydrogen peroxide, probably due to impairment of ABA-responsive signalling. Finally, a possible molecular mechanism of lesion formation in the mature leaves of spl3 mutant is discussed.