Abscisic acid signaling is a key to improving cesium tolerance of plants

January 15, 2024

Protection of crops from stress of poisonous compounds by controlling the signaling pathway

RIKEN CSRS has determined an important signaling pathway to control tolerance to cesium and growth of plants using Arabidopsis thaliana. In addition, a combination of bioinformatics and mutant analyses has revealed that inactivation of a specific factor involved in an abscisic acid (ABA) signaling pathway promotes root growth in the presence of cesium.
Cesium is mainly taken up through potassium channels. Potassium is essential for maintenance of plant health. Therefore, modification of potassium channels has been considered to have a potential to change potassium concentration in the plant body and affect the growth indirectly. Meanwhile, this research has revealed that the expression of genes involved in the ABA signaling pathway specifically alters in the presence of cesium and that the loss of negative control factor of the ABA signaling pathway, in other words, the stimulated response to ABA increases plant tolerance to cesium stress. These findings revealed that the plant tolerant responses to cesium stress can be improved by controlling the ABA signaling pathway, without impairment of potassium uptake.

With these results, development of plants viable under difficult conditions due to soil pollution by poisonous compounds and realization of highly flexible agriculture are expected.

Original article
Planta doi: 10.1007/s00425-023-04304-y
W.-D. Ong, Y. Makita, T. Miyazaki, M. Matsui, R. Shin,
"Arabidopsis transcriptomic analysis reveals cesium inhibition of root growth involves abscisic acid signaling".
Wen-Dee Ong; Postdoctoral Researcher
Yuko Makita; Visiting Scientist
Minami Matsui; Group Director
Synthetic Genomics Research Group