The BABY BOOM Transcription Factor Activates the LEC1-ABI3-FUS3-LEC2 Network to Induce Somatic Embryogenesis.
The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) controls many aspects of plant growth and development under a diverse range of environmental conditions. To identify genes functioning in ABA signaling, we have carried out a screen for mutants that takes advantage of the ability of wild-type Arabidopsis seeds to respond to (-)-(R)-ABA, an enantiomer of the natural (+)-(S)-ABA. The premise of the screen was to identify mutations that preferentially alter their germination response in the presence of one stereoisomer vs. the other. Twenty-six mutants were identified and genetic analysis on 23 lines defines two new loci, designated CHOTTO1 and CHOTTO2, and a collection of new mutant alleles of the ABA-insensitive genes, ABI3, ABI4, and ABI5. The abi5 alleles are less sensitive to (+)-ABA than to (-)-ABA. In contrast, the abi3 alleles exhibit a variety of differences in response to the ABA isomers. Genetic and molecular analysis of these alleles suggests that the ABI3 transcription factor may perceive multiple ABA signals.