Precise spatio‐temporal modulation of ACC synthase by MPK6 cascade mediates the response of rose flowers to rehydration
Drought is a major abiotic stress that affects the development and growth of most plants, and limits crop yield worldwide. Although the response of plants to drought has been well documented, much less is known about how plants respond to the water recovery process, namely rehydration. Here, we describe the spatio‐temporal response of plant reproductive organs to rehydration using rose flowers as an experimental system. We found that rehydration triggered rapid and transient ethylene production in the gynoecia. This ethylene burst serves as a signal to ensure water recovery in flowers, and promotes flower opening by influencing the expression of a set of rehydration‐responsive genes. An in‐gel kinase assay suggested that the rehydration‐induced ethylene burst resulted from transient accumulation of RhACS1/2 proteins in gynoecia. Meanwhile, RhMPK6, a rose homolog of Arabidopsis thaliana MPK6, is rapidly activated by rehydration within 0.5 h. Furthermore, RhMPK6 was able to phosphorylate RhACS1 but not RhACS2 in vitro. Application of the kinase inhibitor K252a suppressed RhACS1 accumulation and rehydration‐induced ethylene production in gynoecia, and the protein phosphatase inhibitor okadaic acid had the opposite effect, confirming that accumulation of RhACS1 was phosphorylation‐dependent. Finally, silencing of RhMPK6 significantly reduced ethylene production in gynoecia when flowers were subjected to rehydration. Taken together, our results suggest that temporal‐ and spatial‐specific activation of an RhMPK6‐RhACS1 cascade is responsible for rehydration‐induced ethylene production in gynoecia, and that the resulting ethylene‐mediated signaling pathway is a key factor in flower rehydration.
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