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Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01365

Functional Analysis of Pepper F-box Protein CaDIF1 and its Interacting Partner CaDIS1: Modulation of ABA Signalling and Drought Stress Response

Junsub Lim1,  Chae Woo Lim1 and  Sung Chul Lee1*
  • 1Chung-Ang University, South Korea

Plant adaptive responses to environmental stress are coordinated by inhibition of plant growth and development. Abscisic acid (ABA) is a major phytohormone that regulates the stress response, and its sensitivity determines stress tolerance levels. In this study, we report the identification and functional role of a novel F-box protein, CaDIF1 (Capsicum annuum Drought-Induced F-box Protein 1). The expression of CaDIF1 in pepper leaves was induced by ABA, drought, H2O2, and NaCl treatments. In comparison with wild-type pepper plants, CaDIF1-silenced pepper plants exhibited a drought-sensitive phenotype, whereas CaDIF1-overexpressing (OX) plants exhibited ABA-sensitive and drought-tolerant phenotypes. Using a yeast 2-hybrid assay, we identified CaDIS1 (Capsicum annuum DIF1-Interacting SKP 1), which interacts with CaDIF1 in the cytoplasm and nucleus. Consistent with CaDIF1-silenced pepper plants, CaDIS1-silenced pepper plants displayed ABA insensitivity and reduced drought tolerance, and these were characterized by larger stomatal apertures and greater transpirational water loss. Taken together, our results indicate that CaDIF1 and its interacting partner CaDIS1 synergistically regulate the ABA-dependent defence signalling response to drought stress.

Keywords: Abscisic Acid, F-box protein, drought, pepper, stomata, virus-induced gene silencing 3

Received: 10 Aug 2019; Accepted: 03 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Lim, Lim and Lee. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Sung Chul Lee, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, 156-756, Seoul, South Korea, sclee1972@cau.ac.kr