Karrikin, a component from smoke, promotes plant resistance to drought

January 4, 2018

When plants, including crops, are exposed to drought stress, abscisic acid (ABA), a stress- responsive hormone is synthesized to induce a protective response. MORE AXILLARY GROWTH2 (MAX2) is a central regulator of both strigolactone and karrikin (KAR) signaling pathways, which control many aspects of plant growth and development. MAX2 promotes plant resistance to drought. Application of a strigolactone analog enhances plant adaptation to drought, implying that strigolactone signaling regulates this trait; however, the potential contributions of the KAR signaling pathway to plant drought response have not been explored.

The Signaling Pathway Research Unit discovered that KAR, interacted with ABA and strigolactone, affects the plant adaptation to drought. The authors found that the KAR Insensitive 2 (KAI2, a receptor of KAR) mutant Arabidopsis plants exhibited a strong stress-sensitive phenotype that was associated with deficiency of leaf waterproofing, closing pores and antioxidants. Therefore, manipulation of KAR signaling represents a promising tool for sustainable agriculture through improving drought resistance of crops.

These results were published in the November 2017 edition of PloS Genetics. Additionally, the results were highlighted in the latest issue of Science, 08 December 2017,Vol 358, Issue 6368 (Editors Choice- ""This week in other journals"").

Original article
PloS Genetics doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1007076
W. Li, K. H.Nguyen, H. D. Chu, C. V. Ha, Y. Watanabe, Y. Osakabe, M. A. Leyva-González, M. Sato, K. Toyooka, L. Voges, M. Tanaka, M. G. Mostofa, M. Seki, M. Seo, S. Yamaguchi, D. C. Nelson, C. Tian, L. Herrera-Estrella, L.-S. P. Tran,
"The karrikin receptor KAI2 promotes drought resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana"..
Lam-Son Phan Tran; Unit Leader
Weiqiang Li; Research Scientist
Yasuko Watanabe; Technical Staff
Signaling Pathway Research Unit