STIMPY mediates cytokinin signaling during shoot meristem establishment in Arabidopsis seedlings.
ABSTRACT: The establishment of the primary meristems through proliferation after germination is essential for plant post-embryonic development. Cytokinins have long been considered a key regulator of plant cell division. Here we show that cytokinins are essential for early seedling development of Arabidopsis. Loss of cytokinin perception leads to a complete failure of meristem establishment and growth arrest after germination. We also present evidence that cytokinin signaling is involved in activation of the homeobox gene STIMPY (STIP or WOX9) expression in meristematic tissues, which is essential for maintaining the meristematic fate. Cytokinin-independent STIP expression is able to partially compensate for the shoot apical meristem growth defects in mutants that cannot sense cytokinin. These findings identify a new branch of the cytokinin signaling network, linking cytokinin to the process of meristem and seedling establishment.
Project description:Most organs in higher plants are generated postembryonically from the meristems, which harbor continuously dividing stem cells throughout a plant's life cycle. In addition to developmental regulations, mitotic activities in the meristematic tissues are modulated by nutritional cues, including carbon source availability. Here we further analyze the relationship between the sugar signal and seedling meristem establishment, taking advantage of our previous observation that exogenously supplied metabolic sugars can rescue the meristem growth arrest phenotype of the Arabidopsis stip mutant seedlings. Our results show that metabolic sugars reactivate the stip meristems by activating the expression of key cell cycle regulators, and therefore, promoting G2 to M transition in Arabidopsis meristematic tissues. One of the early events in this process is the transcriptional repression of TSS, a genetic suppressor of the stip mutations, by sugar signals, suggesting that TSS may act as an integrator of developmental and nutritional signals in regulating meristematic proliferation. We also present evidence that metabolic sugar signals are required for the activation of mitotic entry during de novo meristem formation from G2 arrested cells. Our observations, together with the recent findings that nutrient deprivation leads to G2 arrest of animal germline stem cells, suggest that carbohydrate availability-regulated G2 to M transition may represent a common mechanism in stem cell division regulation in multicellular organisms.
Project description:The extent of growth stimulation of C3 plants by elevated CO2 is modulated by environmental factors. Under optimized environmental conditions (high light, continuous water and nutrient supply, and others), we analysed the effect of an elevated CO2 atmosphere (700 ppm, EC) and the importance of root-bed size on the growth of tobacco. Biomass production was consistently higher under EC. However, the stimulation was overridden by root-bed volumes that restricted root growth. Maximum growth and biomass production were obtained at a root bed of 15 L at ambient and elevated CO2 concentrations. Starting with seed germination, the plants were strictly maintained under ambient or elevated CO2 until flowering. Thus, the well-known acclimation effect of growth to enhanced CO2 did not occur. The relative growth rates of EC plants exceeded those of ambient-CO2 plants only during the initial phases of germination and seedling establishment. This was sufficient for a persistently higher absolute biomass production by EC plants in non-limiting root-bed volumes. Both the size of the root bed and the CO2 concentration influenced the quantitative cytokinin patterns, particularly in the meristematic tissues of shoots, but to a smaller extent in stems, leaves and roots. In spite of the generally low cytokinin concentrations in roots, the amounts of cytokinins moving from the root to the shoot were substantially higher in high-CO2 plants. Because the cytokinin patterns of the (xylem) fluid in the stems did not match those of the shoot meristems, it is assumed that cytokinins as long-distance signals from the roots stimulate meristematic activity in the shoot apex and the sink leaves. Subsequently, the meristems are able to synthesize those phytohormones that are required for the cell cycle. Root-borne cytokinins entering the shoot appear to be one of the major control points for the integration of various environmental cues into one signal for optimized growth.
Project description:The SE7 somaclonal line of finger millet (Eleusine coracana) achieved increased grain yield in field trials that apparently resulted from a higher number of inflorescences and seeds per plant, compared with the wild type. Levels of endogenous cytokinins, especially those of highly physiologically active iso-pentenyl adenine, were increased during early inflorescence development in SE7 plants. Transcript levels of cytokinin-degrading enzymes but not of a cytokinin-synthesizing enzyme were also decreased in young leaves, seedlings, and initiating inflorescences of SE7. These data suggest that attenuated degradation of cytokinins in SE7 inflorescences leads to higher cytokinin levels that stimulate meristem activity and result in production of more inflorescences. Gene expression was compared between SE7 and wild-type young inflorescences using the barley 12K cDNA array. The largest fraction of up-regulated genes in SE7 was related to transcription, translation, and cell proliferation, cell wall assembly/biosynthesis, and to growth regulation of young and meristematic tissues including floral formation. Other up-regulated genes were associated with protein and lipid degradation and mitochondrial energy production. Down-regulated genes were related to pathogen defence and stress response, primary metabolism, glycolysis, and the C:N balance. The results indicate a prolonged proliferation phase in SE7 young inflorescences characterized by up-regulated protein synthesis, cytokinesis, floral formation, and energy production. In contrast, wild-type inflorescences are similar to a more differentiated status characterized by regulated protein degradation, cell elongation, and defence/stress responses. It is concluded that attenuated degradation of cytokinins in SE7 inflorescences leads to higher cytokinin levels, which stimulate meristem activity, inflorescence formation, and seed set.
Project description:Plant hormone cytokinins are perceived by a subfamily of sensor histidine kinases (HKs), which via a two-component phosphorelay cascade activate transcriptional responses in the nucleus. Subcellular localization of the receptors proposed the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane as a principal cytokinin perception site, while study of cytokinin transport pointed to the plasma membrane (PM)-mediated cytokinin signalling. Here, by detailed monitoring of subcellular localizations of the fluorescently labelled natural cytokinin probe and the receptor ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE KINASE 4 (CRE1/AHK4) fused to GFP reporter, we show that pools of the ER-located cytokinin receptors can enter the secretory pathway and reach the PM in cells of the root apical meristem, and the cell plate of dividing meristematic cells. Brefeldin A (BFA) experiments revealed vesicular recycling of the receptor and its accumulation in BFA compartments. We provide a revised view on cytokinin signalling and the possibility of multiple sites of perception at PM and ER.
Project description:Cytokinins and gibberellins (GAs) play antagonistic roles in regulating reproductive meristem activity. Cytokinins have positive effects on meristem activity and maintenance. During inflorescence meristem development, cytokinin biosynthesis is activated via a KNOX-mediated pathway. Increased cytokinin activity leads to higher grain number, whereas GAs negatively affect meristem activity. The GA biosynthesis genes GA20oxs are negatively regulated by KNOX proteins. KNOX proteins function as modulators, balancing cytokinin and GA activity in the meristem. However, little is known about the crosstalk among cytokinin and GA regulators together with KNOX proteins and how KNOX-mediated dynamic balancing of hormonal activity functions. Through map-based cloning of QTLs, we cloned a GA biosynthesis gene, Grain Number per Panicle1 (GNP1), which encodes rice GA20ox1. The grain number and yield of NIL-GNP1TQ were significantly higher than those of isogenic control (Lemont). Sequence variations in its promoter region increased the levels of GNP1 transcripts, which were enriched in the apical regions of inflorescence meristems in NIL-GNP1TQ. We propose that cytokinin activity increased due to a KNOX-mediated transcriptional feedback loop resulting from the higher GNP1 transcript levels, in turn leading to increased expression of the GA catabolism genes GA2oxs and reduced GA1 and GA3 accumulation. This rebalancing process increased cytokinin activity, thereby increasing grain number and grain yield in rice. These findings uncover important, novel roles of GAs in rice florescence meristem development and provide new insights into the crosstalk between cytokinin and GA underlying development process.
Project description:Cytokinins are a class of plant-specific hormones that play a central role during the cell cycle and influence numerous developmental programs. Because of the lack of biosynthetic and signaling mutants, the regulatory roles of cytokinins are not well understood. We genetically engineered cytokinin oxidase expression in transgenic tobacco plants to reduce their endogenous cytokinin content. Cytokinin-deficient plants developed stunted shoots with smaller apical meristems. The plastochrone was prolonged, and leaf cell production was only 3-4% that of wild type, indicating an absolute requirement of cytokinins for leaf growth. In contrast, root meristems of transgenic plants were enlarged and gave rise to faster growing and more branched roots. These results suggest that cytokinins are an important regulatory factor of plant meristem activity and morphogenesis, with opposing roles in shoots and roots.
Project description:The HAIRY MERISTEM (HAM) genes function in meristem maintenance but play minor roles in the morphogenesis of a simple leaf that is determinate. Here, we functionally analyzed HAM genes in tomato and uncovered their involvement in compound leaf morphogenesis. Tomato encodes three HAM homologs, of which SlHAM and SlHAM2 (SlHAMs) are guided for cleavage by microRNA171 and are abundant in the shoot and floral meristems as well as in the compound leaf primordia. We found that SlHAMs silencing led to overproliferation of cells in the periphery of the meristems where SlHAM is localized. As in meristems, leaf-specific silencing of SlHAMs provoked overproliferation of meristematic cells in the organogenic compound leaf rachis. We further demonstrate that the meristematic cell overproliferation in both meristems and leaves was in part due to the misexpression of the stem cell regulator WUSCHEL, previously shown to be induced by cytokinin. Strikingly, reduction of cytokinin levels in SlHAMs-silenced leaves completely suppressed the overproliferation phenotype, suggesting a regulatory link between SlHAMs and cytokinin, a key hormone found to promote indeterminacy in meristems and leaves. Taken together, our data provide evidence that in addition to their conserved function in meristem maintenance, SlHAMs are also required for the proper morphogenesis of the compound leaf.
Project description:Since their discovery as cell-division factors in plant tissue culture about five decades ago, cytokinins have been hypothesized to play a central role in the regulation of cell division and differentiation in plants. To test this hypothesis in planta, we isolated Arabidopsis plants lacking one, two, or three of the genes encoding a subfamily of histidine kinases (CRE1, AHK2, and AHK3) that function as cytokinin receptors. Seeds were obtained for homozygous plants containing mutations in all seven genotypes, namely single, double, and triple mutants, and the responses of germinated seedlings in various cytokinin assays were compared. Both redundant and specific functions for the three different cytokinin receptors were observed. Plants carrying mutations in all three genes did not show cytokinin responses, including inhibition of root elongation, inhibition of root formation, cell proliferation in and greening of calli, and induction of cytokinin primary-response genes. The triple mutants were small and infertile, with a reduction in meristem size and activity, yet they possessed basic organs: roots, stems, and leaves. These results confirm that cytokinins are a pivotal class of plant growth regulators but provide no evidence that cytokinins are required for the processes of gametogenesis and embryogenesis.
Project description:Diallyl disulfide (DADS) is a volatile organosulfur compound derived from garlic (Allium sativum L.), and it is known as an allelochemical responsible for the strong allelopathic potential of garlic. The anticancer properties of DADS have been studied in experimental animals and various types of cancer cells, but to date, little is known about its mode of action as an allelochemical at the cytological level. The current research presents further studies on the effects of DADS on tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) seed germination, root growth, mitotic index, and cell size in root meristem, as well as the phytohormone levels and expression profile of auxin biosynthesis genes (FZYs), auxin transport genes (SlPINs), and expansin genes (EXPs) in tomato root. The results showed a biphasic, dose-dependent effect on tomato seed germination and root growth under different DADS concentrations. Lower concentrations (0.01-0.62 mM) of DADS significantly promoted root growth, whereas higher levels (6.20-20.67 mM) showed inhibitory effects. Cytological observations showed that the cell length of root meristem was increased and that the mitotic activity of meristematic cells in seedling root tips was enhanced at lower concentrations of DADS. In contrast, DADS at higher concentrations inhibited root growth by affecting both the length and division activity of meristematic cells. However, the cell width of the root meristem was not affected. Additionally, DADS increased the IAA and ZR contents of seedling roots in a dose-dependent manner. The influence on IAA content may be mediated by the up-regulation of FZYs and PINs. Further investigation into the underlying mechanism revealed that the expression levels of tomato EXPs were significantly affected by DADS. The expression levels of EXPB2 and beta-expansin precursor were increased after 3 d, and those of EXP1, EXPB3 and EXLB1 were increased after 5 d of DADS treatment (0.41 mM). This result suggests that tomato root growth may be regulated by multiple expansin genes at different developmental stages. Therefore, we conclude that the effects of DADS on the root growth of tomato seedlings are likely caused by changes associated with cell division, phytohormones, and the expression levels of expansin genes.
Project description:For successful molecular breeding it is important to identify targets to the gene family level, and in the specific species of interest, in this case Pisum sativum L. The cytokinins have been identified as a key breeding target due to their influence on plant architecture, and on seed size and sink activity. We focused on the cytokinin biosynthetic gene family (the IPTs) and the gene family key to the destruction of cytokinins (the CKXs), as well as other gene families potentially affected by changing cytokinin levels. These included key meristem genes (WUS and BAM1) and the transporter gene families, sucrose transporters (SUTs) and amino acid permeases (AAPs). We used reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) to monitor gene expression in the vegetative meristem and in pre- and post-fertilisation young pea fruits. PsWUS expression was specific to the shoot apical meristem while PsBAM1 was highly expressed in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) but was also expressed at a low level in the young fruit. Differential expression was shown between genes and within gene families for IPT, CKX, SUT, and AAP. PsCKX7 showed strong gene family member-specific expression in the SAM, and was also expressed in young pea fruits. We suggest that PsCKX7 is a potential target for downregulation via molecular breeding or gene editing.