Sirtinol, a Sir2 protein inhibitor, affects stem cell maintenance and root development in Arabidopsis thaliana by modulating auxin-cytokinin signaling components.
ABSTRACT: 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 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: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:Auxin acts synergistically with cytokinin to control the shoot stem-cell niche, while both hormones act antagonistically to maintain the root meristem. In aluminum (Al) stress-induced root growth inhibition, auxin plays an important role. However, the role of cytokinin in this process is not well understood. In this study, we show that cytokinin enhances root growth inhibition under stress by mediating Al-induced auxin signaling. Al stress triggers a local cytokinin response in the root-apex transition zone (TZ) that depends on IPTs, which encode adenosine phosphate isopentenyltransferases and regulate cytokinin biosynthesis. IPTs are up-regulated specifically in the root-apex TZ in response to Al stress and promote local cytokinin biosynthesis and inhibition of root growth. The process of root growth inhibition is also controlled by ethylene signaling which acts upstream of auxin. In summary, different from the situation in the root meristem, auxin acts with cytokinin in a synergistic way to mediate aluminum-induced root growth inhibition in Arabidopsis.
Project description:The transcription factor WUSCHEL (WUS) acts from a well-defined domain within the Arabidopsis thaliana shoot apical meristem (SAM) to maintain a stem cell niche. A negative-feedback loop involving the CLAVATA (CLV) signaling pathway regulates the number of WUS-expressing cells and provides the current paradigm for the homeostatic maintenance of stem cell numbers. Despite the continual turnover of cells in the SAM during development, the WUS domain remains patterned at a fixed distance below the shoot apex. Recent work has uncovered a positive-feedback loop between WUS function and the plant hormone cytokinin. Furthermore, loss of function of the cytokinin biosynthetic gene, LONELY GUY (LOG), results in a wus-like phenotype in rice. Herein, we find the Arabidopsis LOG4 gene is expressed in the SAM epidermis. We use this to develop a computational model representing a growing SAM to suggest the plausibility that apically derived cytokinin and CLV signaling, together, act as positional cues for patterning the WUS domain within the stem cell niche. Furthermore, model simulations backed by experimental data suggest a previously unknown negative feedback between WUS function and cytokinin biosynthesis in the Arabidopsis SAM epidermis. These results suggest a plausible dynamic feedback principle by which the SAM stem cell niche is patterned.
Project description:WUSCHEL (WUS) is thought to be required for the establishment of the shoot stem cell niche in Arabidopsis thaliana. HEADLESS (HDL), a gene that encodes a WUS-related homeobox family transcription factor, is thought to be the Medicago truncatula ortholog of the WUS gene. HDL plays conserved roles in shoot apical meristem (SAM) and axillary meristem (AM) maintenance. HDL is also involved in compound leaf morphogenesis in M. truncatula; however, its regulatory mechanism has not yet been explored. Here, the significance of HDL in leaf development was investigated. Unlike WUS in A. thaliana, HDL was transcribed not only in the SAM and AM but also in the leaf. Both the patterning of the compound leaves and the shape of the leaf margin in hdl mutant were abnormal. The transcriptional profile of the gene SLM1, which encodes an auxin efflux carrier, was impaired and the plants' auxin response was compromised. Further investigations revealed that HDL positively regulated auxin response likely through the recruitment of MtTPL/MtTPRs into the HDL repressor complex. Its participation in auxin-dependent compound leaf morphogenesis is of interest in the context of the functional conservation and neo-functionalization of the products of WUS orthologs.
Project description:Plant stem cells in the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and root apical meristem are necessary for postembryonic development of aboveground tissues and roots, respectively, while secondary vascular stem cells sustain vascular development. WUSCHEL (WUS), a homeodomain transcription factor expressed in the rib meristem of the Arabidopsis SAM, is a key regulatory factor controlling SAM stem cell populations, and is thought to establish the shoot stem cell niche through a feedback circuit involving the CLAVATA3 (CLV3) peptide signalling pathway. WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5), which is specifically expressed in the root quiescent centre, defines quiescent centre identity and functions interchangeably with WUS in the control of shoot and root stem cell niches. WOX4, expressed in Arabidopsis procambial cells, defines the vascular stem cell niche. WUS/WOX family proteins are evolutionarily and functionally conserved throughout the plant kingdom and emerge as key actors in the specification and maintenance of stem cells within all meristems. However, the nature of the genetic regime in stem cell niches that centre on WOX gene function has been elusive, and molecular links underlying conserved WUS/WOX function in stem cell niches remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that the Arabidopsis HAIRY MERISTEM (HAM) family of transcription regulators act as conserved interacting cofactors with WUS/WOX proteins. HAM and WUS share common targets in vivo and their physical interaction is important in driving downstream transcriptional programs and in promoting shoot stem cell proliferation. Differences in the overlapping expression patterns of WOX and HAM family members underlie the formation of diverse stem cell niche locations, and the HAM family is essential for all of these stem cell niches. These findings establish a new framework for the control of stem cell production during plant development.
Project description: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: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:The homeostatic maintenance of stem cells that carry out continuous organogenesis at the shoot meristem is crucial for plant development. Key known factors act to signal between the stem cells and an underlying group of cells thought to act as the stem cell niche. In Arabidopsis thaliana the homeodomain transcription factor WUSCHEL (WUS) is essential for stem cell initiation and maintenance at shoot and flower meristems. Recent data suggest that the WUS protein may move from the niche cells directly into the stem cells to maintain stem cell identity. Here we provide evidence for a second, previously unknown, pathway for stem cell specification at shoot and flower meristems that bypasses the requirement for WUS. We demonstrate that this novel stem cell specification pathway is normally repressed by the activity of the HD-zip III transcription factors PHABULOSA (PHB), PHAVOLUTA (PHV) and CORONA (CNA). When de-repressed, this second stem cell pathway leads to an accumulation of stem cells and an enlargement of the stem cell niche. When de-repressed in a wus mutant background, this second stem cell pathway leads to functional meristems with largely normal cell layering and meristem morphology, activation of WUS cis regulatory elements, and extensive, but not indeterminate, organogenesis. Thus, WUS is largely dispensable for stem cell specification and meristem function, suggesting a set of key stem cell specification factors, competitively regulated by WUS and PHB/PHV/CNA, remain unidentified.
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.