It is well known that abscisic acid (ABA) promotes reactive oxygen species (ROS) production through plasma membrane-associated NADPH oxidases during ABA signaling. However, whether ROS from organelles can act as second messengers in ABA signaling is largely unknown. Here, we identified an ABA overly sensitive mutant, abo6, in a genetic screen for ABA-mediated inhibition of primary root growth. ABO6 encodes a DEXH box RNA helicase that is involved in regulating the splicing of several genes of complex I in mitochondria. The abo6 mutant accumulated more ROS in mitochondria, as established using a mitochondrial superoxide indicator, circularly permuted yellow fluorescent protein. Two dominant-negative mutations in ABA insensitive1 (abi1-1) and abi2-1 greatly reduced ROS production in mitochondria. The ABA sensitivity of abo6 can also be compromised by the atrbohF mutation. ABA-mediated inhibition of seed germination and primary root growth in abo6 was released by the addition of reduced GSH and exogenous auxin to the medium. Expression of auxin-responsive markers ProDR5:GUS (for synthetic auxin response element D1-4 with site-directed mutants in the 5'-end from soybean):β-glucuronidase) and Indole-3-acetic acid inducible2:GUS was greatly reduced by the abo6 mutation. Hence, our results provide molecular evidence for the interplay between ABA and auxin through the production of ROS from mitochondria. This interplay regulates primary root growth and seed germination in Arabidopsis thaliana.
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