Natural variation identified genes affecting drought-induced abscisic acid accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana ($)

Dissecting the genetic controls of ABA is challenging, granted the complex modulation of ABA turnover and redundancy of the hormone perception machinery. In the recent study, Kalladan and colleagues explored natural variation of low-water-potential induced ABA accumulation. Using heuristic GWAS, followed by a reverse genetic screen, the team identified 116 ABA effector loci. The identified genes often encode signaling protein associated with the plasma membrane, including RLK and ATAucsia-1. The effect of any single T-DNA line studied was remarkably small compared to observed natural variation, suggesting that control of ABA levels is divided among many genes, each with an incremental effect. (Summary by Magdalena Julkowska) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 10.1073/pnas.1705884114