Influence of root-bed size on the response of tobacco to elevated CO2 as mediated by cytokinins.
ABSTRACT: 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:Cytokinins are phytohormones that induce cytokinesis and are essential for diverse developmental and physiological processes in plants. Cytokinins of the trans-zeatin type are mainly synthesized in root vasculature and transported to the shoot, where they regulate shoot growth. However, the mechanism of long-distance transport of cytokinin was hitherto unknown. Here, we report that the Arabidopsis ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter subfamily G14 (AtABCG14) is mainly expressed in roots and plays a major role in delivering cytokinins to the shoot. Loss of AtABCG14 expression resulted in severe shoot growth retardation, which was rescued by exogenous trans-zeatin application. Cytokinin content was decreased in the shoots of atabcg14 plants and increased in the roots, with consistent changes in the expression of cytokinin-responsive genes. Grafting of atabcg14 scions onto wild-type rootstocks restored shoot growth, whereas wild-type scions grafted onto atabcg14 rootstocks exhibited shoot growth retardation similar to that of atabcg14. Cytokinin concentrations in the xylem are reduced by ?90% in the atabcg14 mutant. These results indicate that AtABCG14 is crucial for the translocation of cytokinin to the shoot. Our results provide molecular evidence for the long-distance transport of cytokinin and show that this transport is necessary for normal shoot development.
Project description:Salinity limits crop productivity, in part by decreasing shoot concentrations of the growth-promoting and senescence-delaying hormones cytokinins. Since constitutive cytokinin overproduction may have pleiotropic effects on plant development, two approaches assessed whether specific root-localized transgenic IPT (a key enzyme for cytokinin biosynthesis) gene expression could substantially improve tomato plant growth and yield under salinity: transient root IPT induction (HSP70::IPT) and grafting wild-type (WT) shoots onto a constitutive IPT-expressing rootstock (WT/35S::IPT). Transient root IPT induction increased root, xylem sap, and leaf bioactive cytokinin concentrations 2- to 3-fold without shoot IPT gene expression. Although IPT induction reduced root biomass (by 15%) in control (non-salinized) plants, in salinized plants (100?mM NaCl for 22?d), increased cytokinin concentrations delayed stomatal closure and leaf senescence and almost doubled shoot growth (compared with WT plants), with concomitant increases in the essential nutrient K(+) (20%) and decreases in the toxic ion Na(+) (by 30%) and abscisic acid (by 20-40%) concentrations in transpiring mature leaves. Similarly, WT/35S::IPT plants (scion/rootstock) grown with 75?mM NaCl for 90?d had higher fruit trans-zeatin concentrations (1.5- to 2-fold) and yielded 30% more than WT/non-transformed plants. Enhancing root cytokinin synthesis modified both shoot hormonal and ionic status, thus ameliorating salinity-induced decreases in growth and yield.
Project description:The roots and stems of dicotyledonous plants thicken by the cell proliferation in the cambium. Cambial proliferation changes in response to environmental factors; however, the molecular mechanisms that regulate cambial activity are largely unknown. The quadruple Arabidopsis thaliana mutant atipt1;3;5;7, in which 4 genes encoding cytokinin biosynthetic isopentenyltransferases are disrupted by T-DNA insertion, was unable to form cambium and showed reduced thickening of the root and stem. The atipt3 single mutant, which has moderately decreased levels of cytokinins, exhibited decreased root thickening without any other recognizable morphological changes. Addition of exogenously supplied cytokinins to atipt1;3;5;7 reactivated the cambium in a dose-dependent manner. When an atipt1;3;5;7 shoot scion was grafted onto WT root stock, both the root and shoot grew normally and trans-zeatin-type (tZ-type) cytokinins in the shoot were restored to WT levels, but isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins in the shoot remained unchanged. Conversely, when a WT shoot was grafted onto an atipt1;3;5;7 root, both the root and shoot grew normally and isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins in the root were restored to WT levels, but tZ-type cytokinins were only partially restored. Collectively, it can be concluded that cytokinins are important regulators of cambium development and that production of cytokinins in either the root or shoot is sufficient for normal development of both the root and shoot.
Project description:Cytokinins are one of the most important phytohormones and play essential roles in multiple life processes in planta. Root-derived cytokinins are transported to the shoots via long-distance transport. The mechanisms of long-distance transport of root-derived cytokinins remain to be demonstrated. In this study, we report that OsABCG18, a half-size ATP-binding cassette transporter from rice (Oryza sativa L.), is essential for the long-distance transport of root-derived cytokinins. OsABCG18 encodes a plasma membrane protein and is primarily expressed in the vascular tissues of the root, stem, and leaf midribs. Cytokinin profiling, as well as [14C]trans-zeatin tracer, and xylem sap assays, demonstrated that the shootward transport of root-derived cytokinins was significantly suppressed in the osabcg18 mutants. Transport assays in tobacco (Nicotiana benthamiana) indicated that OsABCG18 exhibited efflux transport activities for various substrates of cytokinins. While the mutation reduced root-derived cytokinins in the shoot and grain yield, overexpression of OsABCG18 significantly increased cytokinins in the shoot and improved grain yield. The findings for OsABCG18 as a transporter for long-distance transport of cytokinin provide new insights into the cytokinin transport mechanism and a novel strategy to increase cytokinins in the shoot and promote grain yield.
Project description:Barley is one of the most important cereals, which is used for breweries, animal and human feeds. Genetic manipulation of plant hormone cytokinins may influence several physiological processes, besides others stress tolerance, root formation and crop yield. In planta, endogenous cytokinin status is finely regulated by the enzyme cytokinin dehydrogenase (EC 22.214.171.124; CKX), that irreversible degrades the side chain of adenine-derived isoprenoid cytokinins. Increasing grain yield by mean of manipulation of endogenous cytokinin content was assayed by the silencing of the HvCKX1 gene. Moreover, to elucidate the putative role of HvCKX1 gene on grain production, knocked-out Hvckx1 mutant plants were generated using the RNA-guided Cas9 system. Homozygote transgenic plants with silenced HvCKX1 gene and azygous knock-out Hvckx1 mutants have been selected and analyzed. Both reduced expression of HvCKX1 gene and CKX activity were measured in different stages of barley grain development. Phenotyping of the transgenic lines revealed reduced root growth, however, plants produced more tillers and grains than azygous wild-type controls and the total yield was increased up to 15 per cent. Although plant productivity was increased, total grain biomass was decreased to 80% of WT grains. RNA-seq analysis of knock-down transgenic lines revealed that several important macronutrient transporters were downregulated in the stage of massive starch accumulation. It suggests that local accumulation of cytokinins negatively affected nutrients flow resulting in reduced grain biomass. Obtained results confirmed the key role of HvCKX1 for regulation of cytokinin content in barley.
Project description:The typical rootless linear shoots of aquatic carnivorous plants exhibit clear, steep polarity associated with very rapid apical shoot growth. The aim of this study was to determine how auxin and cytokinin contents are related to polarity and shoot growth in such plants.The main auxin and cytokinin metabolites in separated shoot segments and turions of two carnivorous plants, Aldrovanda vesiculosa and Utricularia australis, were analysed using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with triple quad mass spectrometry.In both species, only isoprenoid cytokinins were identified. Zeatin cytokinins predominated in the apical parts, with their concentrations decreasing basipetally, and the trans isomer predominated in A. vesiculosa whereas the cis form was more abundant in U australis. Isopentenyladenine-type cytokinins, in contrast, increased basipetally. Conjugated cytokinin metabolites, the O-glucosides, were present at high concentrations in A. vesiculosa but only in minute amounts in U. australis. N(9)-glucoside forms were detected only in U. australis, with isopentenyladenine-9-glucoside (iP9G) being most abundant. In addition to free indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), indole-3-acetamide (IAM), IAA-aspartate (IAAsp), IAA-glutamate (IAGlu) and IAA-glycine (IAGly) conjugates were identified.Both species show common trends in auxin and cytokinin levels, the apical localization of the cytokinin biosynthesis and basipetal change in the ratio of active cytokinins to auxin, in favour of auxin. However, our detailed study of cytokinin metabolic profiles also revealed that both species developed different regulatory mechanisms of active cytokinin content; on the level of their degradation, in U. australis, or in the biosynthesis itself, in the case of A. vesiculosa Results indicate that the rapid turnover of these signalling molecules along the shoots is essential for maintaining the dynamic balance between the rapid polar growth and development of the apical parts and senescence of the older, basal parts of the shoots.
Project description:Cytokinin deficiency causes pleiotropic developmental changes such as reduced shoot and increased root growth. It was investigated whether cytokinin-deficient tobacco plants, which overproduce different cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase enzymes, show changes in different sink and source parameters, which could be causally related to the establishment of the cytokinin deficiency syndrome. Ultrastructural analysis revealed distinct changes in differentiating shoot tissues, including an increased vacuolation and an earlier differentiation of plastids, which showed partially disorganized thylakoid structures later in development. A comparison of the ploidy levels revealed an increased population of cells with a 4C DNA content during early stages of leaf development, indicating an inhibited progression from G2 to mitosis. To compare physiological characteristics of sink leaves, source leaves and roots of wild-type and cytokinin-deficient plants, several photosynthetic parameters, content of soluble sugars, starch and adenylates, as well as activities of enzymes of carbon assimilation and dissimilation were determined. Leaves of cytokinin-deficient plants contained less chlorophyll and non-photochemical quenching of young leaves was increased. However, absorption rate, photosynthetic capacity (F(v)/F(m) and J(CO2 max)) and efficiency (Phi CO(2 app)), as well as the content of soluble sugars, were not strongly altered in source leaves, indicating that chlorophyll is not limiting for photoassimilation and suggesting that source strength did not restrict shoot growth. By contrast, shoot sink tissues showed drastically reduced contents of soluble sugars, decreased activities of vacuolar invertases, and a reduced ATP content. These results strongly support a function of cytokinin in regulating shoot sink strength and its reduction may be a cause of the altered shoot phenotype. Roots of cytokinin-deficient plants contained less sugar compared with wild-type. However, this did not negatively affect glycolysis, ATP content, or root development. It is suggested that cytokinin-mediated regulation of the sink strength differs between roots and shoots.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cytokinin is a negative regulator of root growth, and a reduction of the cytokinin content or signalling causes the formation a larger root system in model plants, improves their growth under drought and nutrient limitation and causes increased accumulation of elements in the shoot. Roots are an important but understudied target of plant breeding. Here we have therefore explored whether root enhancement by lowering the cytokinin content can also be achieved in oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) plants. RESULTS:Transgenic plants overexpressing the CKX2 gene of Arabidopsis thaliana encoding a cytokinin-degrading cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase showed higher CKX activity and a strongly reduced cytokinin content. Cytokinin deficiency led to the formation of a larger root system under different growth conditions, which was mainly due to an increased number of lateral and adventitious roots. In contrast, shoot growth was comparable to wild type, which caused an enhanced root-to-shoot ratio. Transgenic plants accumulated in their leaves higher concentrations of macro- and microelements including P, Ca, Mg, S, Zn, Cu, Mo and Mn. They formed more chlorophyll under Mg- and S-deficiency and accumulated a larger amount of Cd and Zn from contaminated medium and soil. CONCLUSIONS:These findings demonstrate the usefulness of ectopic CKX gene expression to achieve root enhancement in oilseed rape and underpin the functional relevance of a larger root system. Furthermore, the lack of major developmental consequences on shoot growth in cytokinin-deficient oilseed rape indicates species-specific differences of CKX gene and/or cytokinin action.
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: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.