Antagonistic activity of auxin and cytokinin in shoot and root organs.
ABSTRACT: 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 shoot systems of plants are built by the action of the primary shoot apical meristem, established during embryogenesis. In the axil of each leaf produced by the primary meristem, secondary axillary shoot apical meristems are established. The dynamic regulation of the activity of these axillary meristems gives shoot systems their extraordinary plasticity of form. The ability of plants to activate or repress these axillary meristems appropriately requires communication between meristems that is environmentally sensitive. The transport network of the plant hormone auxin has long been implicated as a central player in this tuneable communication system, with other systemically mobile hormones, such as strigolactone and cytokinin, acting in part by modulating auxin transport. Until recently, the polar auxin transport stream, which provides a high conductance auxin transport route down stems dominated by the auxin export protein PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1), has been the focus for understanding long range auxin transport in the shoot. However, recently additional auxin exporters with important roles in the shoot have been identified, including PIN3, PIN4 and PIN7. These proteins contribute to a wider less polar stem auxin transport regime, which we have termed connective auxin transport (CAT), because of its role in communication across the shoot system. Here we present a genetic analysis of the role of CAT in shoot branching. We demonstrate that in Arabidopsis, CAT plays an important role in strigolactone-mediated shoot branching control, with the triple pin3pin4pin7 mutant able to suppress partially the highly branched phenotype of strigolactone deficient mutants. In contrast, the branchy phenotype of mutants lacking the axillary meristem-expressed transcription factor, BRANCHED1 (BRC1) is unaffected by pin3pin4pin7. We further demonstrate that mutation in the ABCB19 auxin export protein, which like PIN3 PIN4 and PIN7 is widely expressed in stems, has very different effects, implicating ABCB19 in auxin loading at axillary bud apices.
Project description:Flowering process governs seed set and thus affects agricultural productivity. Soybean, a major legume crop, requires short-day photoperiod conditions for flowering. While leaf-derived signal(s) are essential for the photoperiod-induced floral initiation process at the shoot apical meristem, molecular events associated with early floral transition stages in either leaves or shoot apical meristems are not well understood. To provide novel insights into the molecular basis of floral initiation, RNA-Seq was used to characterize the soybean transcriptome of leaf and micro-dissected shoot apical meristem at different time points after short-day treatment. Shoot apical meristem expressed a higher number of transcripts in comparison to that of leaf highlighting greater diversity and abundance of transcripts expressed in the shoot apical meristem. A total of 2951 shoot apical meristem and 13,609 leaf sequences with significant profile changes during the time course examined were identified. Most changes in mRNA level occurred after 1short-day treatment. Transcripts involved in mediating responses to stimulus including hormones or in various metabolic processes represent the top enriched GO functional category for the SAM and leaf dataset, respectively. Transcripts associated with protein degradation were also significantly changing in leaf and SAM implicating their involvement in triggering the developmental switch. RNA-Seq analysis of shoot apical meristem and leaf from soybean undergoing floral transition reveal major reprogramming events in leaves and the SAM that point toward hormones gibberellins (GA) and cytokinin as key regulators in the production of systemic flowering signal(s) in leaves. These hormones may form part of the systemic signals in addition to the established florigen, FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT). Further, evidence is emerging that the conversion of shoot apical meristem to inflorescence meristem is linked with the interplay of auxin, cytokinin and GA creating a low cytokinin and high GA environment.
Project description:In the production and breeding of Chrysanthemum sp., shoot branching is an important quality aspect as the outgrowth of axillary buds determines the final plant shape. Bud outgrowth is mainly controlled by apical dominance and the crosstalk between the plant hormones auxin, cytokinin and strigolactone. In this work the hormonal and genetic regulation of axillary bud outgrowth was studied in two differently branching cut flower Chrysanthemum morifolium (Ramat) genotypes. C17 is a split-type which forms an inflorescence meristem after a certain vegetative period, while C18 remains vegetative under long day conditions. Plant growth of both genotypes was monitored during 5 subsequent weeks starting one week before flower initiation occurred in C17. Axillary bud outgrowth was measured weekly and samples of shoot apex, stem and axillary buds were taken during the first two weeks. We combined auxin and cytokinin measurements by UPLC-MS/MS with RT-qPCR expression analysis of genes involved in shoot branching regulation pathways in chrysanthemum. These included bud development genes (CmBRC1, CmDRM1, CmSTM, CmLsL), auxin pathway genes (CmPIN1, CmTIR3, CmTIR1, CmAXR1, CmAXR6, CmAXR2, CmIAA16, CmIAA12), cytokinin pathway genes (CmIPT3, CmHK3, CmRR1) and strigolactone genes (CmMAX1 and CmMAX2). Genotype C17 showed a release from apical dominance after floral transition coinciding with decreased auxin and increased cytokinin levels in the subapical axillary buds. As opposed to C17, C18 maintained strong apical dominance with vegetative growth throughout the experiment. Here high auxin levels and decreasing cytokinin levels in axillary buds and stem were measured. A differential expression of several branching genes accompanied the different hormonal change and bud outgrowth in C17 and C18. This was clear for the strigolactone biosynthesis gene CmMAX1, the transcription factor CmBRC1 and the dormancy associated gene CmDRM1, that all showed a decreased expression in C17 at floral transition and an increased expression in C18 with continuous vegetative growth. These results offer a case study for Chrysanthemum, showing an altered cytokinin to auxin balance and differential gene expression between vegetative growth with apical dominance and transition to generative growth with loss of apical dominance and axillary bud outgrowth. This suggests a conservation of several aspects of the hormonal and genetical regulation of bud outgrowth in Chrysanthemum. Furthermore, 15 previously uncharacterised genes in chrysanthemum, were described in this study. Of those genes involved in axillary bud outgrowth we identified CmDRM1, CmBRC1 and CmMAX1 as having an altered expression preceding axillary bud outgrowth, which could be useful as markers for bud activity.
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 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 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: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: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 diverse plasticity of plant architecture is largely determined by shoot branching. Shoot branching is an event regulated by multiple environmental, developmental and hormonal stimuli through triggering lateral bud response. After perceiving these signals, the lateral buds will respond and make a decision on whether to grow out. TCP transcriptional factors, BRC1/TB1/FC1, were previously proven to be involved in local inhibition of shoot branching in Arabidopsis, pea, tomato, maize and rice. To investigate the function of BRC1, we isolated the BRC1 homolog from chrysanthemum. There were two transcripts of DgBRC1 coming from two alleles in one locus, both of which complemented the multiple branches phenotype of Arabidopsis brc1-1, indicating that both are functionally conserved. DgBRC1 was mainly expressed in dormant axillary buds, and down-regulated at the bud activation stage, and up-regulated by higher planting densities. DgBRC1 transcripts could respond to apical auxin supply and polar auxin transport. Moreover, we found that the acropetal cytokinin stream promoted branch outgrowth whether or not apical auxin was present. Basipetal cytokinin promoted outgrowth of branches in the absence of apical auxin, while strengthening the inhibitory effects on lower buds in the presence of apical auxin. The influence of auxin and strigolactons (SLs) on the production of cytokinin was investigated, we found that auxin locally down-regulated biosynthesis of cytokinin in nodes, SLs also down-regulated the biosynthesis of cytokinin, the interactions among these phytohormones need further investigation.
Project description:The establishment of the primary meristems through proliferation after germination is essential for plant post-embryonic development. Cytokinins have long been considered a key regulator of plant cell division. Here we show that cytokinins are essential for early seedling development of Arabidopsis. Loss of cytokinin perception leads to a complete failure of meristem establishment and growth arrest after germination. We also present evidence that cytokinin signaling is involved in activation of the homeobox gene STIMPY (STIP or WOX9) expression in meristematic tissues, which is essential for maintaining the meristematic fate. Cytokinin-independent STIP expression is able to partially compensate for the shoot apical meristem growth defects in mutants that cannot sense cytokinin. These findings identify a new branch of the cytokinin signaling network, linking cytokinin to the process of meristem and seedling establishment.