Cytokinin-induced promotion of root meristem size in the fern Azolla supports a shoot-like origin of euphyllophyte roots.
ABSTRACT: The phytohormones cytokinin and auxin orchestrate the root meristem development in angiosperms by determining embryonic bipolarity. Ferns, having the most basal euphyllophyte root, form neither bipolar embryos nor permanent embryonic primary roots but rather an adventitious root system. This raises the questions of how auxin and cytokinin govern fern root system architecture and whether this can tell us something about the origin of that root. Using Azolla filiculoides, we characterized the influence of IAA and zeatin on adventitious fern root meristems and vasculature by Nomarski microscopy. Simultaneously, RNAseq analyses, yielding 36,091 contigs, were used to uncover how the phytohormones affect root tip gene expression. We show that auxin restricts Azolla root meristem development, while cytokinin promotes it; it is the opposite effect of what is observed in Arabidopsis. Global gene expression profiling uncovered 145 genes significantly regulated by cytokinin or auxin, including cell wall modulators, cell division regulators and lateral root formation coordinators. Our data illuminate both evolution and development of fern roots. Promotion of meristem size through cytokinin supports the idea that root meristems of euphyllophytes evolved from shoot meristems. The foundation of these roots was laid in a postembryonically branching shoot system.
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:The phytohormones auxin and cytokinin control development and maintenance of plant meristems and stem cell systems. Fluorescent protein reporter lines that monitor phytohormone controlled gene expression programmes have been widely used to study development and differentiation in the model species Arabidopsis, but equivalent tools are still missing for the majority of crop species. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is the fourth most abundant cereal crop plant, but knowledge on these important phytohormones in regard to the barley root and shoot stem cell niches is still negligible. We have now analysed the role of auxin and cytokinin in barley root meristem development, and present fluorescent protein reporter lines that allow to dissect auxin and cytokinin signalling outputs in vivo. We found that application of either auxin or cytokinin to barley seedlings negatively impacts root meristem growth. We further established a barley cytokinin reporter, TCSnew, which revealed significant cytokinin signalling in the stele cells proximal to the QC, and in the differentiated root cap cells. Application of exogenous cytokinin activated signalling in the root stem cell niche. Commonly employed auxin reporters DR5 or DR5v2 failed to respond to auxin in barley. However, analysis of putative auxin signalling targets barley PLETHORA1 (HvPLT1) is expressed in a similar pattern as its orthologue AtPLT1 from Arabidopsis, i.e. in the QC and the surrounding cells. Furthermore, the PINFORMED1 (HvPIN1) auxin efflux carrier was found to be expressed in root and shoot meristems, where it polarly localized to the plasma membrane. HvPIN1 expression is negatively regulated by cytokinin and its intracellular localisation is sensitive to brefeldinA (BFA). With this study, we provide the first fluorescent reporter lines as a tool to study auxin and cytokinin signalling and response pathways in barley.
Project description:In plant roots, auxin is critical for patterning and morphogenesis. It regulates cell elongation and division, the development and maintenance of root apical meristems, and other processes. In Arabidopsis, auxin distribution along the central root axis has several maxima: in the root tip, in the basal meristem and at the shoot/root junction. The distal maximum in the root tip maintains the stem cell niche. Proximal maxima may trigger lateral or adventitious root initiation.We propose a reflected flow mechanism for the formation of the auxin maximum in the root apical meristem. The mechanism is based on auxin's known activation and inhibition of expressed PIN family auxin carriers at low and high auxin levels, respectively. Simulations showed that these regulatory interactions are sufficient for self-organization of the auxin distribution pattern along the central root axis under varying conditions. The mathematical model was extended with rules for discontinuous cell dynamics so that cell divisions were also governed by auxin, and by another morphogen Division Factor which combines the actions of cytokinin and ethylene on cell division in the root. The positional information specified by the gradients of these two morphogens is able to explain root patterning along the central root axis.We present here a plausible mechanism for auxin patterning along the developing root, that may provide for self-organization of the distal auxin maximum when the reverse fountain has not yet been formed or has been disrupted. In addition, the proximal maxima are formed under the reflected flow mechanism in response to periods of increasing auxin flow from the growing shoot. These events may predetermine lateral root initiation in a rhyzotactic pattern. Another outcome of the reflected flow mechanism - the predominance of lateral or adventitious roots in different plant species - may be based on the different efficiencies with which auxin inhibits its own transport in different species, thereby distinguishing two main types of plant root architecture: taproot vs. fibrous.
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:The hormones auxin and cytokinin are essential for plant growth and development. Because of the central importance of root and shoot apical meristems in plant growth, auxin/cytokinin interactions have been predominantly analyzed in relation to apical meristem formation and function. In contrast, the auxin/cytokinin interactions during organ growth have remained largely unexplored. Here, we show that a specific interaction between auxin and cytokinin operates in both the root and the shoot where it serves as an additional determinant of plant development. We found that auxin at low concentrations limits the action of cytokinin. An increase in cytokinin level counteracts this inhibitory effect and leads to an inhibition of auxin signaling. At higher concentrations of both hormones, these antagonistic interactions between cytokinin and auxin are absent. Thus, our results reveal a bidirectional and asymmetrical interaction of auxin and cytokinin beyond the bounds of apical meristems. The relation is bidirectional in that both hormones exert inhibitory effects on each other's signaling mechanisms. However, this relation is also asymmetrical because under controlled growth conditions, auxin present in nontreated plants suppresses cytokinin signaling, whereas the reverse is not the case.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Adventitious roots (ARs) are part of the root system in numerous plants, and are required for successful micropropagation. In the Arabidopsis thaliana primary root (PR) and lateral roots (LRs), the quiescent centre (QC) in the stem cell niche of the meristem controls apical growth with the involvement of auxin and cytokinin. In arabidopsis, ARs emerge in planta from the hypocotyl pericycle, and from different tissues in in vitro cultured explants, e.g. from the stem endodermis in thin cell layer (TCL) explants. The aim of this study was to investigate the establishment and maintenance of the QC in arabidopsis ARs, in planta and in TCL explants, because information about this process is still lacking, and it has potential use for biotechnological applications. METHODS: Expression of PR/LR QC markers and auxin influx (LAX3)/efflux (PIN1) genes was investigated in the presence/absence of exogenous auxin and cytokinin. Auxin was monitored by the DR5::GUS system and cytokinin by immunolocalization. The expression of the auxin-biosynthetic YUCCA6 gene was also investigated by in situ hybridization in planta and in AR-forming TCLs from the indole acetic acid (IAA)-overproducing superroot2-1 mutant and its wild type. KEY RESULTS: The accumulation of auxin and the expression of the QC marker WOX5 characterized the early derivatives of the AR founder cells, in planta and in in vitro cultured TCLs. By determination of PIN1 auxin efflux carrier and LAX3 auxin influx carrier activities, an auxin maximum was determined to occur at the AR tip, to which WOX5 expression was restricted, establishing the positioning of the QC. Cytokinin caused a restriction of LAX3 and PIN1 expression domains, and concomitantly the auxin biosynthesis YUCCA6 gene was expressed in the apex. CONCLUSIONS: In ARs formed in planta and TCLs, the QC is established in a similar way, and auxin transport and biosynthesis are involved through cytokinin tuning.
Project description:Entry into mitosis is regulated by cyclin dependent kinases that in turn are phosphoregulated. In most eukaryotes, phosphoregulation is through WEE1 kinase and CDC25 phosphatase. In higher plants a homologous CDC25 gene is unconfirmed and hence the mitotic inducer Schizosaccharomyces pombe (Sp) cdc25 has been used as a tool in transgenic plants to probe cell cycle function. Expression of Spcdc25 in tobacco BY-2 cells accelerates entry into mitosis and depletes cytokinins; in whole plants it stimulates lateral root production. Here we show, for the first time, that alterations to cytokinin and ethylene signaling explain the rooting phenotype elicited by Spcdc25 expression in Arabidopsis.Expressing Spcdc25 in Arabidopsis results in increased formation of lateral and adventitious roots, a reduction of primary root width and more isodiametric cells in the root apical meristem (RAM) compared with wild type. Furthermore it stimulates root morphogenesis from hypocotyls when cultured on two way grids of increasing auxin and cytokinin concentrations. Microarray analysis of seedling roots expressing Spcdc25 reveals that expression of 167 genes is changed by > 2-fold. As well as genes related to stress responses and defence, these include 19 genes related to transcriptional regulation and signaling. Amongst these was the up-regulation of genes associated with ethylene synthesis and signaling. Seedlings expressing Spcdc25 produced 2-fold more ethylene than WT and exhibited a significant reduction in hypocotyl length both in darkness or when exposed to 10 ppm ethylene. Furthermore in Spcdc25 expressing plants, the cytokinin receptor AHK3 was down-regulated, and endogenous levels of iPA were reduced whereas endogeous IAA concentrations in the roots increased.We suggest that the reduction in root width and change to a more isodiametric cell phenotype in the RAM in Spcdc25 expressing plants is a response to ethylene over-production. The increased rooting phenotype in Spcdc25 expressing plants is due to an increase in the ratio of endogenous auxin to cytokinin that is known to stimulate an increased rate of lateral root production. Overall, our data reveal important cross talk between cell division and plant growth regulators leading to developmental changes.
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:Molecular mechanism regulated by auxin and cytokinin during endoreduplication, cell division, and elongation process is studied by using Allium cepa roots as a model system. The activity of CDK genes modulated by auxin and cytokinin during cell division, elongation, and endoreduplication process is explained in this research work. To study the significance of auxin and cytokinin in the management of cell division and endoreduplication process in plant meristematic cells at molecular level endoreduplication was developed in root tips of Allium cepa by giving colchicine treatment. There were inhibition of vegetative growth, formation of c-tumor at root tip, and development of endoreduplicated cells after colchicine treatment. This c-tumor was further treated with NAA and BAP to reinitiate vegetative growth in roots. BAP gave positive response in reinitiation of vegetative growth of roots from center of c-tumor. However, NAA gave negative response in reinitiation of vegetative growth of roots from c-tumor. Further, CDKs gene expression analysis from normal, endoreduplicated, and phytohormone (NAA or BAP) treated root tip was done and remarkable changes in transcription level of CDK genes in normal, endoreduplicated, and phytohormones treated cells were observed.
Project description:Podostemaceae have markedly specialized and diverse roots that are adapted to extreme habitats, such as seasonally submerged or exposed rocks in waterfalls and rapids. This paper describes the developmental anatomy of roots of four species of Zeylanidium, with emphasis on the unusual association between root branching and root-borne adventitious shoots. In Z. subulatum and Z. lichenoides with subcylindrical or ribbon-like roots, the apical meristem distal (exterior) to a shoot that is initiated within the meristem area reduces and loses meristematic activity. This results in a splitting into two meristems that separate the parental root and lateral root (anisotomous dichotomy). In Z. olivaceum with lobed foliose roots, shoots are initiated in the innermost zone of the marginal meristem, and similar, but delayed, meristem reduction usually occurs, producing a parenchyma exterior to shoots located between root lobes. In some extreme cases, due to meristem recovery, root lobing does not occur, so the margin is entire. In Z. maheshwarii with foliose roots, shoots are initiated proximal to the marginal meristem and there is no shoot-root lobe association. Results suggest that during evolution from subcylindrical or ribbon-like roots to foliose roots, reduction of meristem exterior to a shoot was delayed and then arrested as a result of inward shifting of the sites of shoot initiation. The evolutionary reappearance of a protective tissue or root cap in Z. olivaceum and Z. maheshwarii in the Zeylanidium clade is implied, taking into account the reported molecular phylogeny and root-cap development in Hydrobryum.