Fluorescent reporter lines for auxin and cytokinin signalling in barley (Hordeum vulgare).
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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:Plant meristems carry pools of continuously active stem cells, whose activity is controlled by developmental and environmental signals. After stem cell division, daughter cells that exit the stem cell domain acquire transit amplifying cell identity before they are incorporated into organs and differentiate. In this study, we used an integrated approach to elucidate the role of HECATE (HEC) genes in regulating developmental trajectories of shoot stem cells in Arabidopsis thaliana. Our work reveals that HEC function stabilizes cell fate in distinct zones of the shoot meristem thereby controlling the spatio-temporal dynamics of stem cell differentiation. Importantly, this activity is concomitant with the local modulation of cellular responses to cytokinin and auxin, two key phytohormones regulating cell behaviour. Mechanistically, we show that HEC factors transcriptionally control and physically interact with MONOPTEROS (MP), a key regulator of auxin signalling, and modulate the autocatalytic stabilization of auxin signalling output.
Project description:Plant growth depends on stem cell niches in meristems. In the root apical meristem, the quiescent center (QC) cells form a niche together with the surrounding stem cells. Stem cells produce daughter cells that are displaced into a transit-amplifying (TA) domain of the root meristem. TA cells divide several times to provide cells for growth. SHORTROOT (SHR) and SCARECROW (SCR) are key regulators of the stem cell niche. Cytokinin controls TA cell activities in a dose-dependent manner. Although the regulatory programs in each compartment of the root meristem have been identified, it is still unclear how they coordinate one another. Here, we investigate how PHABULOSA (PHB), under the posttranscriptional control of SHR and SCR, regulates TA cell activities. The root meristem and growth defects in shr or scr mutants were significantly recovered in the shr phb or scr phb double mutant, respectively. This rescue in root growth occurs in the absence of a QC. Conversely, when the modified PHB, which is highly resistant to microRNA, was expressed throughout the stele of the wild-type root meristem, root growth became very similar to that observed in the shr; however, the identity of the QC was unaffected. Interestingly, a moderate increase in PHB resulted in a root meristem phenotype similar to that observed following the application of high levels of cytokinin. Our protoplast assay and transgenic approach using ARR10 suggest that the depletion of TA cells by high PHB in the stele occurs via the repression of B-ARR activities. This regulatory mechanism seems to help to maintain the cytokinin homeostasis in the meristem. Taken together, our study suggests that PHB can dynamically regulate TA cell activities in a QC-independent manner, and that the SHR-PHB pathway enables a robust root growth system by coordinating the stem cell niche and TA domain.
Project description:SCARECROW controls Arabidopsis root meristem size from the root endodermis tissue by regulating the DELLA protein RGA that in turn mediates the regulation of ARR1 levels at the transition zone. Coherent organ growth requires a fine balance between cell division and cell differentiation. Intriguingly, plants continuously develop organs post-embryonically thanks to the activity of meristems that allow growth and environmental plasticity. In Arabidopsis thaliana, continued root growth is assured when division of the distal stem cell and their daughters is balanced with cell differentiation at the meristematic transition zone (TZ). We have previously shown that at the TZ, the cytokinin-dependent transcription factor ARR1 controls the rate of differentiation commitment of meristematic cells and that its activities are coordinated with those of the distal stem cells by the gene SCARECROW (SCR). In the stem cell organizer (the quiescent center, QC), SCR directly suppresses ARR1 both sustaining stem cell activities and titrating non-autonomously the ARR1 transcript levels at the TZ via auxin. Here, we show that SCR also exerts a fine control on ARR1 levels at the TZ from the endodermis by sustaining gibberellin signals. From the endodermis, SCR controls the RGA REPRESSOR OF ga1-3 (RGA) DELLA protein stability throughout the root meristem, thus controlling ARR1 transcriptional activation at the TZ. This guarantees robustness and fineness to the control of ARR1 levels necessary to balance cell division to cell differentiation in sustaining coherent root growth. Therefore, this work advances the state of the art in the field of root meristem development by integrating the activity of three hormones, auxin, gibberellin, and cytokinin, under the control of different tissue-specific activities of a single root key regulator, SCR.
Project description:Plant root growth is enabled by root meristems that harbor the stem cell niches as a source of progenitors for the different root tissues. Understanding the root development of diverse plant species is important to be able to control root growth in order to gain better performances of crop plants. In this study, we analyzed the root meristem of the fourth most abundant crop plant, barley (Hordeum vulgare). Cell division studies revealed that the barley stem cell niche comprises a Quiescent Center (QC) of around 30 cells with low mitotic activity. The surrounding stem cells contribute to root growth through the production of new cells that are displaced from the meristem, elongate and differentiate into specialized root tissues. The distal stem cells produce the root cap and lateral root cap cells, while cells lateral to the QC generate the epidermis, as it is typical for monocots. Endodermis and inner cortex are derived from one common initial lateral to the QC, while the outer cortex cell layers are derived from a distinct stem cell. In rice and Arabidopsis, meristem homeostasis is achieved through feedback signaling from differentiated cells involving peptides of the CLE family. Application of synthetic CLE40 orthologous peptide from barley promotes meristem cell differentiation, similar to rice and Arabidopsis. However, in contrast to Arabidopsis, the columella stem cells do not respond to the CLE40 peptide, indicating that distinct mechanisms control columella cell fate in monocot and dicot plants.
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:Root stem cell niche functioning requires the formation and maintenance of the specific "auxin-rich domain" governed by directional auxin transport and local auxin production. Auxin maximum co-localizes with the WOX5 expression domain in the quiescent center that separates mitotically active proximal and distal root meristems. Here we unravel the interconnected processes happening under WOX5 overexpression by combining in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling. We showed that WOX5-induced TAA1-mediated auxin biosynthesis is the cause, whereas auxin accumulation, PIN transporters relocation, and auxin redistribution between proximal and distal root meristems are its subsequent effects that influence the formation of the well-described phenotype with an enlarged root cap. These findings helped us to clarify the role of WOX5, which serves as a local QC-specific regulator that activates biosynthesis of non-cell-autonomous signal auxin to regulate the distal meristem functioning. The mathematical model with WOX5-mediated auxin biosynthesis and auxin-regulated cell growth, division, and detachment reproduces the columella cells dynamics in both wild type and under WOX5 dysregulation.