Auxin regulates distal stem cell differentiation in Arabidopsis roots.
ABSTRACT: The stem cell niche in the root meristem is critical for the development of the plant root system. The plant hormone auxin acts as a versatile trigger in many developmental processes, including the regulation of root growth, but its role in the control of the stem cell activity remains largely unclear. Here we show that local auxin levels, determined by biosynthesis and intercellular transport, mediate maintenance or differentiation of distal stem cells in the Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Genetic analysis shows that auxin acts upstream of the major regulators of the stem cell activity, the homeodomain transcription factor WOX5, and the AP-2 transcription factor PLETHORA. Auxin signaling for differentiation of distal stem cells requires the transcriptional repressor IAA17/AXR3 as well as the ARF10 and ARF16 auxin response factors. ARF10 and ARF16 activities repress the WOX5 transcription and restrict it to the quiescent center, where WOX5, in turn, is needed for the activity of PLETHORA. Our investigations reveal that long-distance auxin signals act upstream of the short-range network of transcriptional factors to mediate the differentiation of distal stem cells in roots.
Project description:Root stem cell niche functioning requires the formation and maintenance of the specific "auxin-rich domain" governed by directional auxin transport and local auxin production. Auxin maximum co-localizes with the WOX5 expression domain in the quiescent center that separates mitotically active proximal and distal root meristems. Here we unravel the interconnected processes happening under WOX5 overexpression by combining in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling. We showed that WOX5-induced TAA1-mediated auxin biosynthesis is the cause, whereas auxin accumulation, PIN transporters relocation, and auxin redistribution between proximal and distal root meristems are its subsequent effects that influence the formation of the well-described phenotype with an enlarged root cap. These findings helped us to clarify the role of WOX5, which serves as a local QC-specific regulator that activates biosynthesis of non-cell-autonomous signal auxin to regulate the distal meristem functioning. The mathematical model with WOX5-mediated auxin biosynthesis and auxin-regulated cell growth, division, and detachment reproduces the columella cells dynamics in both wild type and under WOX5 dysregulation.
Project description:Previous publications have shown that BRI1 EMS suppressor 1 (BES1), a positive regulator of the brassinosteroid (BR) signalling pathway, enhances cell divisions in the quiescent centre (QC) and stimulates columella stem cell differentiation. Here, it is demonstrated that BZR1, a BES1 homologue, also promotes cell divisions in the QC, but it suppresses columella stem cell differentiation, opposite to the action of BES1. In addition, BR and its BZR1-mediated signalling pathway are shown to alter the expression/subcellular distribution of pin-formed (PINs), which may result in changes in auxin movement. BR promotes intense nuclear accumulation of BZR1 in the root tip area, and the binding of BZR1 to the promoters of several root development-regulating genes, modulating their expression in the root stem cell niche area. These BZR1-mediated signalling cascades may account for both the ectopic activation of QC cell divisions as well as the suppression of the columella stem cell differentiation. They could also inhibit auxin-dependent distal stem cell differentiation by antagonizing the auxin/WOX5-dependent pathway. In conclusion, BZR1-/BES1-mediated BR signalling pathways show differential effects on the maintenance of root apical meristem activities: they stimulate ectopic QC division while they show opposite effects on the differentiation of distal columella stem cells in a BR concentration- and BZR1-/BES1-dependent manner.
Project description:MicroRNAs are non-coding small RNA molecules that are involved in the post-transcriptional regulation of the genes that control various developmental processes in plants, including zygotic embryogenesis (ZE). miRNAs are also believed to regulate somatic embryogenesis (SE), a counterpart of the ZE that is induced in vitro in plant somatic cells. However, the roles of specific miRNAs in the regulation of the genes involved in SE, in particular those encoding transcription factors (TFs) with an essential function during SE including LEAFY COTYLEDON2 (LEC2), remain mostly unknown. The aim of the study was to reveal the function of miR165/166 and miR160 in the LEC2-controlled pathway of SE that is induced in in vitro cultured Arabidopsis explants.In ZE, miR165/166 controls the PHABULOSA/PHAVOLUTA (PHB/PHV) genes, which are the positive regulators of LEC2, while miR160 targets the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORS (ARF10, ARF16, ARF17) that control the auxin signaling pathway, which plays key role in LEC2-mediated SE. We found that a deregulated expression/function of miR165/166 and miR160 resulted in a significant accumulation of auxin in the cultured explants and the spontaneous formation of somatic embryos. Our results show that miR165/166 might contribute to SE induction via targeting PHB, a positive regulator of LEC2 that controls embryogenic induction via activation of auxin biosynthesis pathway (Wójcikowska et al., 2013). Similar to miR165/166, miR160 was indicated to control SE induction through auxin-related pathways and the negative impact of miR160 on ARF10/ARF16/ARF17 was shown in an embryogenic culture. Altogether, the results suggest that the miR165/166- and miR160-node contribute to the LEC2-mediated auxin-related pathway of embryogenic transition that is induced in the somatic cells of Arabidopsis. A model summarizing the suggested regulatory interactions between the miR165/166-PHB and miR160-ARF10/ARF16/ARF17 nodes that control SE induction in Arabidopsis was proposed.
Project description:In Arabidopsis thaliana, besides several key transcription factors and chromatin modifiers, phytohormones auxin and cytokinin play pivotal role in shoot and root meristem maintenance, and lateral root (LR) development. Sirtinol, a chemical inhibitor of Sir2 proteins, is known to promote some auxin induced phenotypes in Arabidopsis. However, its effect on plant stem cell maintenance or organ formation remained unaddressed. Here we show that sirtinol affects meristem maintenance by altering the expression of key stem cell regulators, cell division and differentiation by modulating both auxin and cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis thaliana. The expression of shoot stem cell niche related genes WUSCHEL (WUS) and CLAVATA3 (CLV3) was upregulated, whereas SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) was downregulated in sirtinol treated seedlings. The expression level and domain of key root stem cell regulators PLETHORA (PLTs) and WUS-Related Homeobox 5 (WOX5) were altered in sirtinol treated roots. Sirtinol affects LR development by disturbing proper auxin transport and maxima formation, similar to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). Sirtinol also affects LR formation by altering cytokinin biosynthesis and signaling genes in roots. Therefore, sirtinol affects shoot and root growth, meristem maintenance and LR development by altering the expression of cytokinin-auxin signaling components, and regulators of stem cells, meristems, and LRs.
Project description:To reveal how ARF10 and ARF16 regulate Al-induced root-growth inhibition, a transcriptome analysis was carried out by comparing without and with Al-exposed arf10/16 double mutant line and WT through RNA sequencing. The present transcriptomic analysis has revealed that many of the differentially transcribed genes associated with cell wall modification were regulated by transcription factors ARF10 and ARF16. The implication is that the auxin-regulated Al-induced inhibition of root growth arises from auxin signalling-regulated cell wall structure or component modification. Overall design: Total RNA obtained from control (non-treated roots) and Al-exposed roots. Six day old plants were treated with and without Al treatment for 24 h, then total RNA was isolated using the RNeasy® Plant Mini Kit (QIAGEN), and then Illumina sequencing was performed.
Project description:The study of the concerted action of hormones and transcription factors is fundamental to understand cell differentiation and pattern formation during organ development. The root apical meristem of Arabidopsis thaliana is a useful model to address this. It has a stem cell niche near its tip conformed of a quiescent organizer and stem or initial cells around it, then a proliferation domain followed by a transition domain, where cells diminish division rate before transiting to the elongation zone; here, cells grow anisotropically prior to their final differentiation towards the plant base. A minimal model of the gene regulatory network that underlies cell-fate specification and patterning at the root stem cell niche was proposed before. In this study, we update and couple such network with both the auxin and cytokinin hormone signaling pathways to address how they collectively give rise to attractors that correspond to the genetic and hormonal activity profiles that are characteristic of different cell types along A. thaliana root apical meristem. We used a Boolean model of the genetic-hormonal regulatory network to integrate known and predicted regulatory interactions into alternative models. Our analyses show that, after adding some putative missing interactions, the model includes the necessary and sufficient components and regulatory interactions to recover attractors characteristic of the root cell types, including the auxin and cytokinin activity profiles that correlate with different cellular behaviors along the root apical meristem. Furthermore, the model predicts the existence of activity configurations that could correspond to the transition domain. The model also provides a possible explanation for apparently paradoxical cellular behaviors in the root meristem. For example, how auxin may induce and at the same time inhibit WOX5 expression. According to the model proposed here the hormonal regulation of WOX5 might depend on the cell type. Our results illustrate how non-linear multi-stable qualitative network models can aid at understanding how transcriptional regulators and hormonal signaling pathways are dynamically coupled and may underlie both the acquisition of cell fate and the emergence of hormonal activity profiles that arise during complex organ development.
Project description:Global warming is causing a negative impact on plant growth and adversely impacts on crop yield. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are critical in regulating the expression of genes involved in plant development as well as defense responses. The effects of miRNAs on heat-stressed Arabidopsis warrants further investigation. Heat stress increased the expression of miR160 and its precursors but considerably reduced that of its targets, ARF10, ARF16, and ARF17. To study the roles of miR160 during heat stress, transgenic Arabidopsis plants overexpressing miR160 precursor a (160OE) and artificial miR160 (MIM160), which mimics an inhibitor of miR160, were created. T-DNA insertion mutants of miR160 targets were also used to examine their tolerances to heat stress. Results presented that overexpressing miR160 improved seed germination and seedling survival under heat stress. The lengths of hypocotyl elongation and rachis were also longer in 160OE than the wild-type (WT) plants under heat stress. Interestingly, MIM160 plants showed worse adaption to heat. In addition, arf10, arf16, and arf17 mutants presented similar phenotypes to 160OE under heat stress to advance abilities of thermotolerance. Moreover, transcriptome and qRT-PCR analyses revealed that HSP17.6A, HSP17.6II, HSP21, and HSP70B expression levels were regulated by heat in 160OE, MIM160, arf10, arf16, and arf17 plants. Hence, miR160 altered the expression of the heat shock proteins and plant development to allow plants to survive heat stress.
Project description:The elongator complex subunit 2 (ELP2) protein, one subunit of an evolutionarily conserved histone acetyltransferase complex, has been shown to participate in leaf patterning, plant immune and abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, its role in root development was explored. Compared to the wild type, the elp2 mutant exhibited an accelerated differentiation of its root stem cells and cell division was more active in its quiescent centre (QC). The key transcription factors responsible for maintaining root stem cell and QC identity, such as AP2 transcription factors PLT1 (PLETHORA1) and PLT2 (PLETHORA2), GRAS transcription factors such as SCR (SCARECROW) and SHR (SHORT ROOT) and WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX5 transcription factor WOX5, were all strongly down-regulated in the mutant. On the other hand, expression of the G2/M transition activator CYCB1 was substantially induced in elp2. The auxin efflux transporters PIN1 and PIN2 showed decreased protein levels and PIN1 also displayed mild polarity alterations in elp2, which resulted in a reduced auxin content in the root tip. Either the acetylation or methylation level of each of these genes differed between the mutant and the wild type, suggesting that the ELP2 regulation of root development involves the epigenetic modification of a range of transcription factors and other developmental regulators.
Project description:Continuous formation of somatic tissues in plants requires functional stem cell niches where undifferentiated cells are maintained. In Arabidopsis thaliana, PLETHORA (PLT) and SCARECROW (SCR) genes are outputs of apical-basal and radial patterning systems, and both are required for root stem cell specification and maintenance. The WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5) gene is specifically expressed in and required for functions of a small group of root stem cell organizer cells, also called the quiescent center (QC). PLT and SCR are required for QC function, and their expression overlaps in the QC; however, how they specify the organizer has remained unknown. We show that PLT and SCR genetically and physically interact with plant-specific teosinte-branched cycloidea PCNA (TCP) transcription factors to specify the stem cell niche during embryogenesis and maintain organizer cells post-embryonically. PLT-TCP-SCR complexes converge on PLT-binding sites in the WOX5 promoter to induce expression.
Project description:Glucose produced from photosynthesis is a key nutrient signal regulating root meristem activity in plants; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we show that, by modulating reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, the conserved macroautophagy/autophagy degradation pathway contributes to glucose-regulated root meristem maintenance. In Arabidopsis thaliana roots, a short exposure to elevated glucose temporarily suppresses constitutive autophagosome formation. The autophagy-defective autophagy-related gene (atg) mutants have enhanced tolerance to glucose, established downstream of the glucose sensors, and accumulate less glucose-induced ROS in the root tips. Moreover, the enhanced root meristem activities in the atg mutants are associated with improved auxin gradients and auxin responses. By acting with AT4G39850/ABCD1 (ATP-binding cassette D1; Formerly PXA1/peroxisomal ABC transporter 1), autophagy plays an indispensable role in the glucose-promoted degradation of root peroxisomes, and the atg mutant phenotype is partially rescued by the overexpression of ABCD1. Together, our findings suggest that autophagy is an essential mechanism for glucose-mediated maintenance of the root meristem. Abbreviation: ABA: abscisic acid; ABCD1: ATP-binding cassette D1; ABO: ABA overly sensitive; AsA: ascorbic acid; ATG: autophagy related; CFP: cyan fluorescent protein; Co-IP: co-immunoprecipitation; DAB: 3',3'-diaininobenzidine; DCFH-DA: 2',7'-dichlorodihydrofluorescin diacetate; DR5: a synthetic auxin response element consists of tandem direct repeats of 11 bp that included the auxin-responsive TGTCTC element; DZ: differentiation zone; EZ, elongation zone; GFP, green fluorescent protein; GSH, glutathione; GUS: ?-glucuronidase; HXK1: hexokinase 1; H2O2: hydrogen peroxide; IAA: indole-3-acetic acid; IBA: indole-3-butyric acid; KIN10/11: SNF1 kinase homolog 10/11; MDC: monodansylcadaverine; MS: Murashige and Skoog; MZ: meristem zone; NBT: nitroblue tetrazolium; NPA: 1-N-naphtylphthalamic acid; OxIAA: 2-oxindole-3-acetic acid; PIN: PIN-FORMED; PLT: PLETHORA; QC: quiescent center; RGS1: Regulator of G-protein signaling 1; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SCR: SCARECROW; SHR, SHORT-ROOT; SKL: Ser-Lys-Leu; SnRK1: SNF1-related kinase 1; TOR: target of rapamycin; UPB1: UPBEAT1; WOX5: WUSCHEL related homeobox 5; Y2H: yeast two-hybrid; YFP: yellow fluorescent protein.