Chemical genetics reveals negative regulation of abscisic acid signaling by a plant immune response pathway

Curr Biol. 2011 Jun 7;21(11):990-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.04.045. Epub 2011 May 27.


Coordinated regulation of protection mechanisms against environmental abiotic stress and pathogen attack is essential for plant adaptation and survival. Initial abiotic stress can interfere with disease-resistance signaling [1-6]. Conversely, initial plant immune signaling may interrupt subsequent abscisic acid (ABA) signal transduction [7, 8]. However, the processes involved in this crosstalk between these signaling networks have not been determined. By screening a 9600-compound chemical library, we identified a small molecule [5-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)furan-2-yl]-piperidine-1-ylmethanethione (DFPM) that rapidly downregulates ABA-dependent gene expression and also inhibits ABA-induced stomatal closure. Transcriptome analyses show that DFPM also stimulates expression of plant defense-related genes. Major early regulators of pathogen-resistance responses, including EDS1, PAD4, RAR1, and SGT1b, are required for DFPM-and notably also for Pseudomonas-interference with ABA signal transduction, whereas salicylic acid, EDS16, and NPR1 are not necessary. Although DFPM does not interfere with early ABA perception by PYR/RCAR receptors or ABA activation of SnRK2 kinases, it disrupts cytosolic Ca(2+) signaling and downstream anion channel activation in a PAD4-dependent manner. Our findings provide evidence that activation of EDS1/PAD4-dependent plant immune responses rapidly disrupts ABA signal transduction and that this occurs at the level of Ca(2+) signaling, illuminating how the initial biotic stress pathway interferes with ABA signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism
  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology
  • Abscisic Acid / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Piperidines / chemistry
  • Piperidines / pharmacology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Stomata / drug effects
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / immunology
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Plants / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas syringae / immunology
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Thiones / chemistry
  • Thiones / pharmacology


  • (5-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)furan-2-yl)piperidine-1-ylmethanethione
  • Piperidines
  • Plant Proteins
  • Small Molecule Libraries
  • Thiones
  • Abscisic Acid