DELLA repression of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) seed germination can be lifted either through DELLA proteolysis by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway or through proteolysis-independent gibberellin (GA) hormone signaling. GA binding to the GIBBERELLIN-INSENSITIVE DWARF1 (GID1) GA receptors stimulates GID1-GA-DELLA complex formation, which in turn triggers DELLA protein ubiquitination and proteolysis via the SCFSLY1 E3 ubiquitin ligase and 26S proteasome. Although DELLA cannot be destroyed in the sleepy1-2 (sly1-2) F-box mutant, long dry after-ripening and GID1 overexpression can relieve the strong sly1-2 seed dormancy phenotype. It appears that sly1-2 seed dormancy results from abscisic acid (ABA) signaling downstream of DELLA, since dormant sly1-2 seeds accumulate high levels of ABA hormone and loss of ABA sensitivity rescues sly1-2 seed germination. DELLA positively regulates the expression of XERICO, an inducer of ABA biosynthesis. GID1b overexpression rescues sly1-2 germination through proteolysis-independent DELLA down-regulation associated with increased expression of GA-inducible genes and decreased ABA accumulation, apparently as a result of decreased XERICO messenger RNA levels. Higher levels of GID1 overexpression are associated with more efficient sly1 germination and increased GID1-GADELLA complex formation, suggesting that GID1 down-regulates DELLA through protein binding. After-ripening results in increased GA accumulation and GID1a-dependent GA signaling, suggesting that after-ripening triggers GA-stimulated GID1- GA-DELLA protein complex formation, which in turn blocks DELLA transcriptional activation of the XERICO inhibitor of seed germination.
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