As abscisic acid (ABA) receptors, PYR1/PYL/RCAR (PYLs) play important roles in ABA-mediated seed germination, but the regulation of PYLs in this process, especially at the transcriptional level, is still unclear. In this study, we found that the expression of 11 of 14 PYLs changes significantly during seed germination and is affected by exogenous ABA. Two PYLs, PYL11 and PYL12, both of which are expressed specifically in mature seeds, positively modulate ABA-mediated seed germination. However, ABI5 was found to modulate the PYL11- and PYL12-mediated ABA response. In the abi5-7 mutant, ABA hypersensitivity caused by PYL11 and PYL12 overexpression was totally or partially blocked. On the other hand, ABI5 regulates the expression of PYL11 and PYL12 by directly binding to their promoters. Moreover, the expression of 8 other PYLs is also affected during the germination of abi5 mutants. Promoter analysis revealed that an ABI5-binding region is present next to the TATA box or initiator box. Taken together, our data demonstrate the role of PYL11 and PYL12 in seed germination. In addition, the identification of PYLs as targets of ABI5 reveals a role of ABI5 in the feedback regulation of ABA-mediated seed germination.
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