Plants live as sessile organisms with large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralogue divergence during evolution. Notably, plant paralogues are expressed tissue-specifically and fine-tuned by phytohormones during various developmental processes. The coat protein complex II (COPII) is a highly conserved vesiculation machinery mediating protein transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus in eukaryotes1. Intriguingly, Arabidopsis COPII paralogues greatly outnumber those in yeast and mammals2–6. However, the functional diversity and underlying mechanism of distinct COPII paralogues in regulating protein endoplasmic reticulum export and coping with various adverse environmental stresses are poorly understood. Here we characterize a novel population of COPII vesicles produced in response to abscisic acid, a key phytohormone regulating abiotic stress responses in plants. These hormone-induced giant COPII vesicles are regulated by an Arabidopsis-specific COPII paralogue and carry stress-related channels/transporters for alleviating stresses. This study thus provides a new mechanism underlying abscisic acid-induced stress responses via the giant COPII vesicles and answers a long-standing question on the evolutionary significance of gene duplications in Arabidopsis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science