Dissection of Arabidopsis NCED9 promoter regulatory regions reveals a role for ABA synthesized in embryos in the regulation of GA-dependent seed germination

Plant Sci. 2016 May:246:91-97. doi: 10.1016/j.plantsci.2016.02.013. Epub 2016 Feb 16.


Nine-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED) catalyzes the key step of abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis. There are five genes encoding NCED in Arabidopsis, which differentially regulate ABA biosynthesis in a spatiotemporal manner in response to endogenous and environmental stimuli. Previous studies have shown that NCED9 is expressed in testa and embryos during seed development. In the present study, we have identified promoter regions required for the expression of NCED9 in testa and embryos, respectively. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) and yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assays showed that several homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) proteins, namely ATHBs, bound to the sequence required for expression of NCED9 in testa, suggesting that they redundantly regulate NCED9 expression. By expressing the NCED9 gene under the control of a deleted NCED9 promoter in an nced9 mutant expression was limited to embryos. Transformants were complemented for the paclobutrazol resistant germination phenotype of the mutant, suggesting that the ABA synthesis mediated by NCED9 in embryos plays an important role in the regulation of gibberellin (GA)-dependent seed germination.

Keywords: ATHB; Abscisic acid (ABA); Arabidopsis; Nine-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED); Promoter; Seed germination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / embryology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Dioxygenases / genetics*
  • Dioxygenases / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Germination / drug effects
  • Germination / genetics
  • Gibberellins / pharmacology
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Protein Binding / drug effects
  • Seeds / drug effects
  • Seeds / genetics*
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics
  • Transgenes


  • Gibberellins
  • Plant Proteins
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Dioxygenases
  • 9-cis-epoxy-carotenoid dioxygenase