Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 18435822
Physiol Plant 2008 Sep;134(1):110-20
Patatin-like genes have recently been cloned from several plant species and found to be involved in stress responses and development. In previous work, we have shown that a patatin-like gene encoding a galactolipid acyl hydrolase (EC 188.8.131.52) was stimulated by drought in the leaves of the tropical legume, Vigna unguiculata L. Walp. The aim of the present work was to study the expression of patatin-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana under water deficit. Expression of six genes was studied by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in leaves of plants submitted to progressive drought stress induced by withholding water and also in different plant organs. Three genes, designated AtPAT IIA, AtPAT IVC and AtPAT IIIA, were shown to be upregulated by water deficit but with different kinetics, while the other patatin-like genes were either constitutive or not expressed in leaves. The accumulation of transcripts of AtPAT IIA in the early stages of the drought treatment was coordinated with the upregulation of lipoxygenase and allene oxide synthase genes. AtPAT IIA expression was also induced by wounding and methyl jasmonate treatments. The in vitro lipolytic activity toward monogalactosyldiacylglycerol, digalactosyldiacylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylglycerol was confirmed by producing the recombinant protein ATPAT IIA in insect cells. The analysis of free fatty acid pools in drought-stressed leaves shows an increase in the relative amounts of trans-3-hexadecenoic acid at the beginning of the treatment followed by a progressive accumulation of linoleic and linolenic acids. The possible roles of AtPAT IIA in lipid signaling and membrane degradation under water deficit are discussed.