Spatio-temporal sequence of cross-regulatory events in root meristem growth.
ABSTRACT: A central question in developmental biology is how multicellular organisms coordinate cell division and differentiation to determine organ size. In Arabidopsis roots, this balance is controlled by cytokinin-induced expression of SHORT HYPOCOTYL 2 (SHY2) in the so-called transition zone of the meristem, where SHY2 negatively regulates auxin response factors (ARFs) by protein-protein interaction. The resulting down-regulation of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux carriers is considered the key event in promoting differentiation of meristematic cells. Here we show that this regulation involves additional, intermediary factors and is spatio-temporally constrained. We found that the described cytokinin-auxin crosstalk antagonizes BREVIS RADIX (BRX) activity in the developing protophloem. BRX is an auxin-responsive target of the prototypical ARF MONOPTEROS (MP), a key promoter of vascular development, and transiently enhances PIN3 expression to promote meristem growth in young roots. At later stages, cytokinin induction of SHY2 in the vascular transition zone restricts BRX expression to down-regulate PIN3 and thus limit meristem growth. Interestingly, proper SHY2 expression requires BRX, which could reflect feedback on the auxin responsiveness of SHY2 because BRX protein can directly interact with MP, likely acting as a cofactor. Thus, cross-regulatory antagonism between BRX and SHY2 could determine ARF activity in the protophloem. Our data suggest a model in which the regulatory interactions favor BRX expression in the early proximal meristem and SHY2 prevails because of supplementary cytokinin induction in the later distal meristem. The complex equilibrium of this regulatory module might represent a universal switch in the transition toward differentiation in various developmental contexts.
Project description:Co-ordination of auxin and cytokinin activities determines root meristem size during post-embryonic development. Calcineurin B-like proteins (CBLs) and their interacting protein kinases (CIPKs) constitute signaling modules that relay calcium signals. Here we report that CIPK25 is involved in regulating the root meristem size. Arabidopsis plants lacking CIPK25 expression displayed a short root phenotype and a slower root growth rate with fewer meristem cells. This phenotype was rescued by restoration of CIPK25 expression. CIPK25 interacted with CBL4 and -5, and displayed strong gene expression in the flower and root, except in the cell proliferation domain in the root apical meristem. Its expression in the root was positively and negatively regulated by auxin and cytokinin, respectively. The cipk25 T-DNA insertion line was compromised in auxin transport and auxin-responsive promoter activity. The cipk25 mutant line showed altered expression of auxin efflux carriers (PIN1 and PIN2) and an Aux/IAA family gene SHY2. Decreased PIN1 and PIN2 expression in the cipk25 mutant line was completely restored when combined with a SHY2 loss-of-function mutation, resulting in recovery of root growth. SHY2 and PIN1 expression was partially regulated by cytokinin even in the absence of CIPK25, suggesting a CIPK25-independent cytokinin signaling pathway(s). Our results revealed that CIPK25 plays an important role in the co-ordination of auxin and cytokinin signaling in root meristem development.
Project description:Peptide signaling presumably occupies a central role in plant development, yet only few concrete examples of receptor-ligand pairs that act in the context of specific differentiation processes have been described. Here we report that second-site null mutations in the Arabidopsis leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase gene barely any meristem 3 (BAM3) perfectly suppress the postembryonic root meristem growth defect and the associated perturbed protophloem development of the brevis radix (brx) mutant. The roots of bam3 mutants specifically resist growth inhibition by the CLAVATA3/ENDOSPERM SURROUNDING REGION 45 (CLE45) peptide ligand. WT plants transformed with a construct for ectopic overexpression of CLE45 could not be recovered, with the exception of a single severely dwarfed and sterile plant that eventually died. By contrast, we obtained numerous transgenic bam3 mutants transformed with the same construct. These transgenic plants displayed a WT phenotype, however, supporting the notion that CLE45 is the likely BAM3 ligand. The results correlate with the observation that external CLE45 application represses protophloem differentiation in WT, but not in bam3 mutants. BAM3, BRX, and CLE45 are expressed in a similar spatiotemporal trend along the developing protophloem, up to the end of the transition zone. Induction of BAM3 expression upon CLE45 application, ectopic overexpression of BAM3 in brx root meristems, and laser ablation experiments suggest that intertwined regulatory activity of BRX, BAM3, and CLE45 could be involved in the proper transition of protophloem cells from proliferation to differentiation, thereby impinging on postembryonic growth capacity of the root meristem.
Project description:The shoot systems of plants are built by the action of the primary shoot apical meristem, established during embryogenesis. In the axil of each leaf produced by the primary meristem, secondary axillary shoot apical meristems are established. The dynamic regulation of the activity of these axillary meristems gives shoot systems their extraordinary plasticity of form. The ability of plants to activate or repress these axillary meristems appropriately requires communication between meristems that is environmentally sensitive. The transport network of the plant hormone auxin has long been implicated as a central player in this tuneable communication system, with other systemically mobile hormones, such as strigolactone and cytokinin, acting in part by modulating auxin transport. Until recently, the polar auxin transport stream, which provides a high conductance auxin transport route down stems dominated by the auxin export protein PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1), has been the focus for understanding long range auxin transport in the shoot. However, recently additional auxin exporters with important roles in the shoot have been identified, including PIN3, PIN4 and PIN7. These proteins contribute to a wider less polar stem auxin transport regime, which we have termed connective auxin transport (CAT), because of its role in communication across the shoot system. Here we present a genetic analysis of the role of CAT in shoot branching. We demonstrate that in Arabidopsis, CAT plays an important role in strigolactone-mediated shoot branching control, with the triple pin3pin4pin7 mutant able to suppress partially the highly branched phenotype of strigolactone deficient mutants. In contrast, the branchy phenotype of mutants lacking the axillary meristem-expressed transcription factor, BRANCHED1 (BRC1) is unaffected by pin3pin4pin7. We further demonstrate that mutation in the ABCB19 auxin export protein, which like PIN3 PIN4 and PIN7 is widely expressed in stems, has very different effects, implicating ABCB19 in auxin loading at axillary bud apices.
Project description:Auxin is an essential plant-specific regulator of patterning processes that also controls directional growth of roots and shoots. In response to gravity stimulation, the PIN3 auxin transporter polarizes to the bottom side of gravity-sensing root cells, presumably redirecting the auxin flux toward the lower side of the root and triggering gravitropic bending. By combining live-cell imaging techniques with pharmacological and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that PIN3 polarization does not require secretion of de novo synthesized proteins or protein degradation, but instead involves rapid, transient stimulation of PIN endocytosis, presumably via a clathrin-dependent pathway. Moreover, gravity-induced PIN3 polarization requires the activity of the guanine nucleotide exchange factors for ARF GTPases (ARF-GEF) GNOM-dependent polar-targeting pathways and might involve endosome-based PIN3 translocation from one cell side to another. Our data suggest that gravity perception acts at several instances of PIN3 trafficking, ultimately leading to the polarization of PIN3, which presumably aligns auxin fluxes with gravity vector and mediates downstream root gravitropic response.
Project description:De novo meristem formation in tissue culture critically depends on the correct organization of hormonal domains, which is followed by expression shoot meristem pattern genes. The genetic basis of plant regeneration is fragmentary, but mutant studies demonstrate that signaling through MONOPTEROS (MP)/AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR 5 is necessary for the formation of shoots from Arabidopsis calli. Most strikingly, variants of MP, uncoupling MP activity from negative regulation by Aux/IAA proteins, showed that MP is also sufficient for promoting de novo shoot formation even from normally recalcitrant tissues. In this function MP acts through pathways involving the homeobox transcription factor SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) and AP2 domain transcription factor CYTOKININ RESPONSE FACTOR2 (CRF2). Our findings provide an entry point to better address the molecular genetics underlying divergent regeneration properties and demonstrate the potential of ARF-derived constructs as novel genetic tools to develop high frequency regeneration systems in recalcitrant explants and species.
Project description:Fruits and seeds are the major food source on earth. Both derive from the gynoecium and, therefore, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms that guide the development of this organ of angiosperm species. In Arabidopsis, the gynoecium is composed of two congenitally fused carpels, where two domains: medial and lateral, can be distinguished. The medial domain includes the carpel margin meristem (CMM) that is key for the production of the internal tissues involved in fertilization, such as septum, ovules, and transmitting tract. Interestingly, the medial domain shows a high cytokinin signaling output, in contrast to the lateral domain, where it is hardly detected. While it is known that cytokinin provides meristematic properties, understanding on the mechanisms that underlie the cytokinin signaling pattern in the young gynoecium is lacking. Moreover, in other tissues, the cytokinin pathway is often connected to the auxin pathway, but we also lack knowledge about these connections in the young gynoecium. Our results reveal that cytokinin signaling, that can provide meristematic properties required for CMM activity and growth, is enabled by the transcription factor SPATULA (SPT) in the medial domain. Meanwhile, cytokinin signaling is confined to the medial domain by the cytokinin response repressor ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE PHOSPHOTRANSFERASE 6 (AHP6), and perhaps by ARR16 (a type-A ARR) as well, both present in the lateral domains (presumptive valves) of the developing gynoecia. Moreover, SPT and cytokinin, probably together, promote the expression of the auxin biosynthetic gene TRYPTOPHAN AMINOTRANSFERASE OF ARABIDOPSIS 1 (TAA1) and the gene encoding the auxin efflux transporter PIN-FORMED 3 (PIN3), likely creating auxin drainage important for gynoecium growth. This study provides novel insights in the spatiotemporal determination of the cytokinin signaling pattern and its connection to the auxin pathway in the young gynoecium.
Project description:Plants have to tightly control their energy homeostasis to ensure survival and fitness under constantly changing environmental conditions. Thus, it is stringently required that energy-consuming stress-adaptation and growth-related processes are dynamically tuned according to the prevailing energy availability. The evolutionary conserved SUCROSE NON-FERMENTING1 RELATED KINASES1 (SnRK1) and the downstream group C/S1 basic leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factors (TFs) are well-characterised central players in plants' low-energy management. Nevertheless, mechanistic insights into plant growth control under energy deprived conditions remains largely elusive. In this work, we disclose the novel function of the low-energy activated group S1 bZIP11-related TFs as regulators of auxin-mediated primary root growth. Whereas transgenic gain-of-function approaches of these bZIPs interfere with the activity of the root apical meristem and result in root growth repression, root growth of loss-of-function plants show a pronounced insensitivity to low-energy conditions. Based on ensuing molecular and biochemical analyses, we propose a mechanistic model, in which bZIP11-related TFs gain control over the root meristem by directly activating IAA3/SHY2 transcription. IAA3/SHY2 is a pivotal negative regulator of root growth, which has been demonstrated to efficiently repress transcription of major auxin transport facilitators of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) gene family, thereby restricting polar auxin transport to the root tip and in consequence auxin-driven primary root growth. Taken together, our results disclose the central low-energy activated SnRK1-C/S1-bZIP signalling module as gateway to integrate information on the plant's energy status into root meristem control, thereby balancing plant growth and cellular energy resources.
Project description:Plant development is governed by signaling molecules called phytohormones. Typically, in certain developmental processes more than 1 hormone is implicated and, thus, coordination of their overlapping activities is crucial for correct plant development. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the hormonal crosstalk are only poorly understood. Multiple hormones including cytokinin and auxin have been implicated in the regulation of root development. Here we dissect the roles of cytokinin in modulating growth of the primary root. We show that cytokinin effect on root elongation occurs through ethylene signaling whereas cytokinin effect on the root meristem size involves ethylene-independent modulation of transport-dependent asymmetric auxin distribution. Exogenous or endogenous modification of cytokinin levels and cytokinin signaling lead to specific changes in transcription of several auxin efflux carrier genes from the PIN family having a direct impact on auxin efflux from cultured cells and on auxin distribution in the root apex. We propose a novel model for cytokinin action in regulating root growth: Cytokinin influences cell-to-cell auxin transport by modification of expression of several auxin transport components and thus modulates auxin distribution important for regulation of activity and size of the root meristem.
Project description:Cell wall biosynthesis plays essential roles in cell division and expansion and thus is fundamental to plant growth and development. In this work, we show that an Arabidopsis mutant dpr3, isolated by a forward genetic screen, displays embryo defects and short, swelling primary root with the failure of maintenance of root apical meristem reminiscent to several cell wall-deficient mutants. Map-based cloning identified dpr3 is a mutant allele of RIBOSE PHOSPHATE ISOMERSASE 1 (RPI1), an enzyme involved in cellulose synthesis. Cellulose content in the mutant was dramatically decreased. Moreover, dpr3 (rpi1 from hereon) caused aberrant auxin distribution, as well as defective accumulation of root master regulators PLETHORA (PLT1 and PLT2) and misexpression of auxin response factor 5 (MONOPTEROS, MP). The abnormal auxin distribution is likely due to the reduced accumulation of auxin efflux transporters PIN-FORMED (PIN1 and PIN3). Surprisingly, we found that the orientation of actin microfilaments was severely altered in rpi1 root cells, whereas the cortical microtubules stay normal. Our study provides evidence that the defects in cellulose synthesis in rpi1 affect polar auxin transport possibly connected with altered F-actin organization, which is critically important for vesicle trafficking, thus exerting effects on auxin distribution, signaling, and auxin-mediated plant development.
Project description:Homologues of the p23 co-chaperone of HSP90 are present in all eukaryotes, suggesting conserved functions for this protein throughout evolution. Although p23 has been extensively studied in animal systems, little is known about its function in plants. In the present study, the functional characterization of the two isoforms of p23 in Arabidopsis thaliana is reported, suggesting a key role of p23 in the regulation of root development. Arabidopsis p23 mutants, for either form, show a short root length phenotype with a reduced meristem length. In the root meristem a low auxin level associated with a smaller auxin gradient was observed. A decrease in the expression levels of PIN FORMED PROTEIN (PIN)1, PIN3, and PIN7, contextually to an inefficient polar localization of PIN1, was detected. Collectively these results suggest that both Arabidopsis p23 isoforms are required for root growth, in particular in the maintenance of the root meristem, where the proteins are located.