Medical College of Wisconsin
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Dynamic control of plant water use using designed ABA receptor agonists. Science 2019 10 25;366(6464)



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85074062657   3 Citations


Drought causes crop losses worldwide, and its impact is expected to increase as the world warms. This has motivated the development of small-molecule tools for mitigating the effects of drought on agriculture. We show here that current leads are limited by poor bioactivity in wheat, a widely grown staple crop, and in tomato. To address this limitation, we combined virtual screening, x-ray crystallography, and structure-guided design to develop opabactin (OP), an abscisic acid (ABA) mimic with up to an approximately sevenfold increase in receptor affinity relative to ABA and up to 10-fold greater activity in vivo. Studies in reveal a role of the type III receptor for the antitranspirant efficacy of OP. Thus, virtual screening and structure-guided optimization yielded newly discovered agonists for manipulating crop abiotic stress tolerance and water use.

Author List

Vaidya AS, Helander JDM, Peterson FC, Elzinga D, Dejonghe W, Kaundal A, Park SY, Xing Z, Mega R, Takeuchi J, Khanderahoo B, Bishay S, Volkman BF, Todoroki Y, Okamoto M, Cutler SR


Francis C. Peterson PhD Professor in the Biochemistry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brian F. Volkman PhD Professor in the Biochemistry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

jenkins-FCD Prod-444 eb4ebd1a08581aba961d3befd3b851a3c3ec6b46