Mammalian peptide hormones propagate extracellular stimuli from sensing tissues to appropriate targets to achieve optimal growth maintenance1. In land plants, root-to-shoot signalling is important to prevent water loss by transpiration and to adapt to water-deficient conditions2, 3. The phytohormone abscisic acid has a role in the regulation of stomatal movement to prevent water loss4. However, no mobile signalling molecules have yet been identified that can trigger abscisic acid accumulation in leaves. Here we show that the CLAVATA3/EMBRYO-SURROUNDING REGION-RELATED 25 (CLE25) peptide transmits water-deficiency signals through vascular tissues in Arabidopsis, and affects abscisic acid biosynthesis and stomatal control of transpiration in association with BARELY ANY MERISTEM (BAM) receptors in leaves. The CLE25 gene is expressed in vascular tissues and enhanced in roots in response to dehydration stress. The root-derived CLE25 peptide moves from the roots to the leaves, where it induces stomatal closure by modulating abscisic acid accumulation and thereby enhances resistance to dehydration stress. BAM receptors are required for the CLE25 peptide-induced dehydration stress response in leaves, and the CLE25–BAM module therefore probably functions as one of the signalling molecules for long-distance signalling in the dehydration response.
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We thank S. Sawa, T. Ishida (Kumamoto University) and Y. Matsubayashi (Nagoya University) for their discussions, and S. Mizukado and H. Kobayashi for their technical assistance. This research was supported by the Program for Promotion of Basic and Applied Researches for Innovations in Bio-oriented Industry (BRAIN; to K.S.); by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF); by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Numbers JP15K18563 (F.T.) and JP16H01475 (F.T.); and by Program on Open Innovation Platform with Enterprises, Research Institute and Academia (OPERA) (Y.O.).
Nature thanks T. Kakimoto and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
Extended data figures and tables
Extended Data Fig. 10 NCED3 expression in CLE25-treated leaves of bam1-5 bam3-3 mutants, vascular development of wild-type, cle25 and bam1-5 bam3-3 mutants under control conditions and root growth phenotypes of cle25, nced3-2 and aba2-1 mutants under control conditions or long-term application of CLE25 peptide.