The maize ABA receptors ZmPYL8, 9, and 12 facilitate plant drought resistance

Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses affecting world agriculture. Breeding drought-resistant crops is one of the most important challenges for plant biologists. PYR1/PYL/RCARs, which encode the abscisic acid (ABA) receptors, play pivotal roles in ABA signaling, but how these genes function in crop drought response remains largely unknown. Here we identified 13 PYL family members in maize (ZmPYL1-13). Changes in expression of these genes under different stresses indicated that ZmPYLs played important roles in responding to multiple abiotic stresses. Transgenic analyses of ZmPYL genes in Arabidopsis showed that overexpression of ZmPYL3, ZmPYL9, ZmPYL10, and ZmPYL13 significantly enhanced the sensitivity of transgenic plants to ABA.

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