A new study conducted at the Salk Institute found molecular conductors that
help plants respond to stress such as drought and salinity. The study
suggests that during environmental stresses, a small group of proteins acts
as conductors to manage the complex responses of plants to stress.
One of these conductors is abscisic acid (ABA), a plant hormone involved in
seed development and water optimization. The team exposed 3-day-old
seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana to ABA and checked gene expression at
regular time points over 60 hours. Results gathered 122 datasets which
involve 33,602 genes, 3,061 of which were expressed at differing levels for
at least one time point. Data revealed a hierarchy of control, with some
regulatory proteins ranking as top contributors to gene expression.