Lipid droplets (LDs) act as repositories for fatty acids and sterols, which are used for various cellular processes such as energy production and membrane and hormone synthesis. LD-associated proteins play important roles in seed development and germination, but their functions in postgermination growth are not well understood. Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) contains three SRP homologs (SRP1, SRP2, and SRP3) that share sequence identities with small rubber particle proteins of the rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis). In this report, the possible cellular roles of SRPs in postgermination growth and the drought tolerance response were investigated. Arabidopsis SRPs appeared to be LD-associated proteins and displayed polymerization properties in vivo and in vitro. SRP-overexpressing transgenic Arabidopsis plants (35S:SRP1, 35S:SRP2, and 35S:SRP3) exhibited higher vegetative and reproductive growth and markedly better tolerance to drought stress than wild-type Arabidopsis. In addition, constitutive over-expression of SRPs resulted in increased numbers of large LDs in postgermination seedlings. In contrast, single (srp1, 35S:SRP2-RNAi, and srp3) and triple (35S:SRP2-RNAi/srp1srp3) loss-of-function mutant lines exhibited the opposite phenotypes. Our results suggest that Arabidopsis SRPs play dual roles as positive factors in postgermination growth and the drought stress tolerance response. The possible relationships between LD-associated proteins and the drought stress response are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science