AtCPK23 functions in Arabidopsis responses to drought and salt stresses
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Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are unique serine/threonine kinases in plants and there are 34 CDPKs in Arabidopsis genome alone. Although several CDPKs have been demonstrated to be critical calcium signaling mediators for plant responses to various environmental stresses, the biological functions of most CDPKs in stress signaling remain unclear. In this study, we provide the evidences to demonstrate that AtCPK23 plays important role in Arabidopsis responses to drought and salt stresses. The cpk23 mutant, a T-DNA insertion mutant for AtCPK23 gene, showed greatly enhanced tolerance to drought and salt stresses, while the AtCPK23 overexpression lines became more sensitive to drought and salt stresses and the complementary line of the cpk23 mutant displayed similar phenotype as wild-type plants. The results of stomatal aperture measurement showed that the disruption of AtCPK23 expression reduced stomatal apertures, while overexpression of AtCPK23 increased stomatal apertures. The alteration of stomatal apertures by changes in AtCPK23 expression may account, at least in partial, for the modified Arabidopsis response to drought stress. In consistent with the enhanced salt-tolerance by disruption of AtCPK23 expression, K+ content in the cpk23 mutant was not reduced under high NaCl stress compared with wild-type plants, which indicates that the AtCPK23 may also regulate plant K+-uptake. The possible mechanisms by which AtCPK23 mediates drought and salt stresses signaling are discussed.
KeywordsArabidopsis thaliana CDPK Mutant Drought Salt stress Calcium signaling
This work was supported by a competitive NSFC (National Science Foundation of China) Research Grant (#30421002) and the Chinese National Key Basic Research Project (#2006CB100100) to Wei-Hua Wu. We would like to thank Dr. Wei Zhang for technical assistance in stomatal aperture measurement and Mr. Junjie Zou for providing AtCPK23::GUS transgenic line.
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