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Free Content Glycine-rich RNA-binding protein7 affects abiotic stress responses by regulating stomata opening and closing in Arabidopsis thaliana

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Despite the fact that glycine-rich RNA-binding proteins (GRPs) have been implicated in the responses of plants to environmental stresses, their physiological functions and mechanisms of action in stress responses remain largely unknown. Here, we assessed the functional roles of GRP7, one of the eight GRP family members in Arabidopsis thaliana, on seed germination, seedling growth, and stress tolerance under high salinity, drought, or cold stress conditions. The transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing GRP7 under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter displayed retarded germination and poorer seedling growth compared with the wild-type plants and T-DNA insertional mutant lines under high salinity or dehydration stress conditions. By contrast, GRP7 overexpression conferred freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis plants. GRP7 is expressed abundantly in the guard cells, and has been shown to influence the opening and closing of the stomata, in accordance with the prevailing stress conditions. GRP7 is localized to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and is involved in the export of mRNAs from the nucleus to the cytoplasm under cold stress conditions. Collectively, these results provide compelling evidence that GRP7 affects the growth and stress tolerance of Arabidopsis plants under high salt and dehydration stress conditions, and also confers freezing tolerance, particularly via the regulation of stomatal opening and closing in the guard cells.
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Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; RNA chaperone; abiotic stress; glycine-rich RNA-binding protein; guard cell; mRNA export

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Plant Biotechnology, Agricultural Plant Stress Research Center and Biotechnology Research Institute, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757 Korea 2: Department of Life Science, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang 790-784, Korea

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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