TIME FOR COFFEE controls root meristem size by changes in auxin accumulation in Arabidopsis.
ABSTRACT: Roots play important roles in plant survival and productivity as they not only anchor the plants in the soil but are also the primary organ for the uptake of nutrients from the outside. The growth and development of roots depend on the specification and maintenance of the root meristem. Here, we report a previously unknown role of TIME FOR COFFEE (TIC) in controlling root meristem size in Arabidopsis. The results showed that loss of function of TIC reduced root meristem length and cell number by decreasing the competence of meristematic cells to divide. This was due to the repressed expression of PIN genes for decreased acropetal auxin transport in tic-2, leading to low auxin accumulation in the roots responsible for reduced root meristem, which was verified by exogenous application of indole-3-acetic acid. Downregulated expression of PLETHORA1 (PLT1) and PLT2, key transcription factors in mediating the patterning of the root stem cell niche, was also assayed in tic-2. Similar results were obtained with tic-2 and wild-type plants at either dawn or dusk. We also suggested that the MYC2-mediated jasmonic acid signalling pathway may not be involved in the regulation of TIC in controlling the root meristem. Taken together, these results suggest that TIC functions in an auxin-PLTs loop for maintenance of post-embryonic root meristem.
Project description:Although research has determined that reactive oxygen species (ROS) function as signaling molecules in plant development, the molecular mechanism by which ROS regulate plant growth is not well known. An aba overly sensitive mutant, abo8-1, which is defective in a pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) protein responsible for the splicing of NAD4 intron 3 in mitochondrial complex I, accumulates more ROS in root tips than the wild type, and the ROS accumulation is further enhanced by ABA treatment. The ABO8 mutation reduces root meristem activity, which can be enhanced by ABA treatment and reversibly recovered by addition of certain concentrations of the reducing agent GSH. As indicated by low ProDR5:GUS expression, auxin accumulation/signaling was reduced in abo8-1. We also found that ABA inhibits the expression of PLETHORA1 (PLT1) and PLT2, and that root growth is more sensitive to ABA in the plt1 and plt2 mutants than in the wild type. The expression of PLT1 and PLT2 is significantly reduced in the abo8-1 mutant. Overexpression of PLT2 in an inducible system can largely rescue root apical meristem (RAM)-defective phenotype of abo8-1 with and without ABA treatment. These results suggest that ABA-promoted ROS in the mitochondria of root tips are important retrograde signals that regulate root meristem activity by controlling auxin accumulation/signaling and PLT expression in Arabidopsis.
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:RGF1, a secreted peptide hormone, plays key roles in root meristem development in Arabidopsis. Previous studies indicated that a functional RGF1 needs to be sulfated at a tyrosine residue by a tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase and that RGF1 regulates the root meristem activity mainly via two downstream transcription factors, PLETHORA 1 (PLT1) and PLT2. How extracellular RGF1 is perceived by a plant cell, however, is unclear. Using genetic approaches, we discovered a clade of leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases, designated as RGF1 INSENSITIVE 1 (RGI1) to RGI5, serving as receptors of RGF1. Two independent rgi1 rgi2 rgi3 rgi4 rgi5 quintuple mutants display a consistent short primary root phenotype with a small size of meristem. An rgi1 rgi2 rgi3 rgi4 quadruple mutant shows a significantly reduced sensitivity to RGF1, and the quintuple mutant is completely insensitive to RGF1. The expression of PLT1 and PLT2 is almost undetectable in the quintuple mutant. Ectopic expression of PLT2 driven by an RGI2 promoter in the quintuple mutant greatly rescued its root meristem defects. One of the RGIs, RGI1, was subsequently analyzed biochemically in detail. In vitro dot blotting and pull-down analyses indicated that RGI1 can physically interact with RGF1. Exogenous application of RGF1 can quickly and simultaneously induce the phosphorylation and ubiquitination of RGI1, indicating that RGI1 can perceive and transduce the RGF1 peptide signal. Yet, the activated RGI1 is likely turned over rapidly. These results demonstrate that RGIs, acting as the receptors of RGF1, play essential roles in RGF1-PLT-mediated root meristem development in Arabidopsis thaliana.
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:ROOT MERISTEM GROWTH FACTOR (RGF) 1 is an important peptide hormone that regulates root growth. Upon binding to its receptor, RGFR1, RGF1 regulates the expression of two transcription factors, PLETHORA 1 and 2 (PLT1/2), to influence root meristem development. Here, we show that the ubiquitin-specific proteases UBP12 and UBP13 are positive regulators of root meristem development and that UBP13 interacts directly with RGF1 receptor (RGFR1) and its close homolog RGFR2. The ubp12,13 double-mutant root is completely insensitive to exogenous applied RGF1. Consistent with this result, RGF1-induced ubiquitination and turnover of RGFR1 protein were accelerated in ubp12,13-mutant plants but were delayed in transgenic plants overexpressing UBP13 Genetic analysis showed that PLT2 or RGFR1 overexpression partially rescued the short-root phenotype and the reduced cortical root meristem cell number in ubp12,13 plants. Together, our results demonstrate that UBP12/13 are regulators of the RGF1-RGFR1-PLT1/2 signaling pathway and that UBP12/13 can counteract RGF1-induced RGFR1 ubiquitination, stabilize RGFR1, and maintain root cell sensitivity to RGF1.
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:Plant development is characterized by repeated initiation of meristems, regions of dividing cells that give rise to new organs. During lateral root (LR) formation, new LR meristems are specified to support the outgrowth of LRs along a new axis. The determination of the sequential events required to form this new growth axis has been hampered by redundant activities of key transcription factors. Here, we characterize the effects of three PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factors, PLT3, PLT5, and PLT7, during LR outgrowth. In plt3plt5plt7 triple mutants, the morphology of lateral root primordia (LRP), the auxin response gradient, and the expression of meristem/tissue identity markers are impaired from the "symmetry-breaking" periclinal cell divisions during the transition between stage I and stage II, wherein cells first acquire different identities in the proximodistal and radial axes. Particularly, PLT1, PLT2, and PLT4 genes that are typically expressed later than PLT3, PLT5, and PLT7 during LR outgrowth are not induced in the mutant primordia, rendering "PLT-null" LRP. Reintroduction of any PLT clade member in the mutant primordia completely restores layer identities at stage II and rescues mutant defects in meristem and tissue establishment. Therefore, all PLT genes can activate the formative cell divisions that lead to de novo meristem establishment and tissue patterning associated with a new growth axis.
Project description:The WUSCHEL homeobox transcription factor is required to specify stem-cell identity at the shoot apical meristem and its ectopic expression is sufficient to induce de novo shoot meristem formation. Yet, the manner by which WUS promotes stem-cell fate is not yet fully understood. In the present research we address this question by inducing WUS function outside of its domain. We show that activation of WUS function in the root inhibits the responses to exogenous auxin and suppresses the initiation and growth of lateral roots. Using time lapse movies to follow the cell-cycle marker CYCB1;1::GFP, we also show that activation of WUS function suppresses cell division and cell elongation. In addition, activation of WUS represses the auxin-induced expression of the PLETHORA1 root identity gene and promotes shoot fate. Shoot apical meristem formation requires a high cytokinin-to-auxin ratio. Our findings provide evidence for the manner by which WUS specifies stem-cell identity: by affecting auxin responses, by reducing the cell mitotic activity and by repressing other developmental pathways. At the meristem, the stem-cells which are characterized by low division rate are surrounded by the highly proliferative meristematic cells. Our results also provide a model for WUS establishing the differential mitotic rates between two cell populations at the minute structure of the meristem.
Project description:A peptide hormone, root meristem growth factor (RGF), regulates root meristem development through the PLETHORA (PLT) stem cell transcription factor pathway, but it remains to be uncovered how extracellular RGF signals are transduced to the nucleus. Here we identified, using a combination of a custom-made receptor kinase (RK) expression library and exhaustive photoaffinity labeling, three leucine-rich repeat RKs (LRR-RKs) that directly interact with RGF peptides in Arabidopsis These three LRR-RKs, which we named RGFR1, RGFR2, and RGFR3, are expressed in root tissues including the proximal meristem, the elongation zone, and the differentiation zone. The triple rgfr mutant was insensitive to externally applied RGF peptide and displayed a short root phenotype accompanied by a considerable decrease in meristematic cell number. In addition, PLT1 and PLT2 protein gradients, observed as a gradual gradient decreasing toward the elongation zone from the stem cell area in wild type, steeply declined at the root tip in the triple mutant. Because RGF peptides have been shown to create a diffusion-based concentration gradient extending from the stem cell area, our results strongly suggest that RGFRs mediate the transformation of an RGF peptide gradient into a PLT protein gradient in the proximal meristem, thereby acting as key regulators of root meristem development.
Project description:During plant growth, dividing cells in meristems must coordinate transitions from division to expansion and differentiation, thus generating three distinct developmental zones: the meristem, elongation zone and differentiation zone. Simultaneously, plants display tropisms, rapid adjustments of their direction of growth to adapt to environmental conditions. It is unclear how stable zonation is maintained during transient adjustments in growth direction. In Arabidopsis roots, many aspects of zonation are controlled by the phytohormone auxin and auxin-induced PLETHORA (PLT) transcription factors, both of which display a graded distribution with a maximum near the root tip. In addition, auxin is also pivotal for tropic responses. Here, using an iterative experimental and computational approach, we show how an interplay between auxin and PLTs controls zonation and gravitropism. We find that the PLT gradient is not a direct, proportionate readout of the auxin gradient. Rather, prolonged high auxin levels generate a narrow PLT transcription domain from which a gradient of PLT protein is subsequently generated through slow growth dilution and cell-to-cell movement. The resulting PLT levels define the location of developmental zones. In addition to slowly promoting PLT transcription, auxin also rapidly influences division, expansion and differentiation rates. We demonstrate how this specific regulatory design in which auxin cooperates with PLTs through different mechanisms and on different timescales enables both the fast tropic environmental responses and stable zonation dynamics necessary for coordinated cell differentiation.