Plant-specific PIN-formed (PIN) efflux transporters for the plant hormone auxin are required for tissue-specific directional auxin transport and cellular auxin homeostasis. The Arabidopsis PIN protein family has been shown to play important roles in developmental processes such as embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue differentiation, root meristem patterning and tropic growth. Here we analyzed roles of the less characterised Arabidopsis PIN6 auxin transporter. PIN6 is auxin-inducible and is expressed during multiple auxin–regulated developmental processes. Loss of pin6 function interfered with primary root growth and lateral root development. Misexpression of PIN6 affected auxin transport and interfered with auxin homeostasis in other growth processes such as shoot apical dominance, lateral root primordia development, adventitious root formation, root hair outgrowth and root waving. These changes in auxin-regulated growth correlated with a reduction in total auxin transport as well as with an altered activity of DR5-GUS auxin response reporter. Overall, the data indicate that PIN6 regulates auxin homeostasis during plant development.
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.
Plants continuously generate new tissues and organs through the activity of populations of undifferentiated stem cells, called meristems. Here, we discuss the so-called shoot apical meristem (SAM), which generates all the aerial parts of the plant. It has been known for many years that auxin plays a central role in the functioning of this meristem. Auxin is not homogeneously distributed at the SAM and it is thought that this distribution is interpreted in terms of differential gene expression and patterned growth. In this context, auxin transporters of the PIN and AUX families, creating auxin maxima and minima, are crucial regulators. However, auxin transport is not the only factor involved. Auxin biosynthesis genes also show specific, patterned activities, and local auxin synthesis appears to be essential for meristem function as well. In addition, auxin perception and signal transduction defining the competence of cells to react to auxin, add further complexity to the issue. To unravel this intricate signaling network at the SAM, systems biology approaches, involving not only molecular genetics but also live imaging and computational modeling, have become increasingly important.
Auxin dynamically regulates patterning at the shoot apical meristem. Transporters and local biosynthesis are involved in the control of its distribution at the shoot apex, where it is required for formation of new buds.
Lateral organ position along roots and shoots largely determines plant architecture, and depends on auxin distribution patterns. Determination of the underlying patterning mechanisms has hitherto been complicated because they operate during growth and division. Here, we show by experiments and computational modeling that curvature of the Arabidopsis root influences cell sizes, which, together with tissue properties that determine auxin transport, induces higher auxin levels in the pericycle cells on the outside of the curve. The abundance and position of the auxin transporters restricts this response to the zone competent for lateral root formation. The auxin import facilitator, AUX1, is up-regulated by auxin, resulting in additional local auxin import, thus creating a new auxin maximum that triggers organ formation. Longitudinal spacing of lateral roots is modulated by PIN proteins that promote auxin efflux, and pin2,3,7 triple mutants show impaired lateral inhibition. Thus, lateral root patterning combines a trigger, such as cell size difference due to bending, with a self-organizing system that mediates alterations in auxin transport.
Plant architecture is determined by where shoots or roots form along the main axis, but the mechanism responsible for lateral root initiation has long puzzled biologists. Here, we show that stretching root cells initiates changes in hormone transport, leading to lateral root initiation in plants, thereby solving a 120-year-old mystery: the mechanism of lateral root initiation. Our data reveal that physical tissue deformation is sufficient to induce chemical changes that unleash biological responses leading to new organ formation. When roots bend, concentrations of the plant hormone auxin increase along the outside of the bend. A complex auxin flux pattern is generated that further enhances auxin levels through localized reflux loops. Auxin importers—AUX1—and efflux carriers—PIN proteins—are known to be regulated by auxin. AUX1 up-regulation enhances the auxin maxima that specify the lateral root founder cells at the bend, while PIN down-regulation modulates the lateral spacing of the roots along the main root axis. This study shows that the biological regulation behind pattern formation can be a result of entangled hierarchies, explaining both the inner/outer spacing, lateral inhibition, and dynamics of lateral root initiation.
Experimental data and computer modeling show that lateral root positioning can be controlled by the physical stimulus of root curvature, which triggers self-organizing alterations in auxin transport.
Local, efflux-dependent auxin gradients and maxima mediate organ and tissue development in plants. The auxin-efflux pattern is regulated by dynamic expression and asymmetric subcellular localization of PIN auxin-efflux proteins during plant organogenesis. Thus, the question of how the expression and subcellular localization of PIN proteins are controlled goes to the heart of plant development. It has been shown that PIN expression and polarity are established not only through a self-organizing auxin-mediated polarization mechanism, but also through other means such as cell-fate determination. We found that the Arabidopsis NO VEIN (NOV) gene, encoding a novel, plant-specific nuclear factor, is required for leaf vascular development, cellular patterning and stem-cell maintenance in the root meristem and cotyledon outgrowth and separation. NOV function underlies cell-fate decisions associated with auxin gradients and maxima, thereby establishing cell type-specific PIN expression and polarity. We propose that NOV mediates cell acquisition of the competence to undergo auxin-dependent coordinated cell specification and patterning, thereby educing context-dependent auxin-mediated developmental responses.
Arabidopsis; auxin; PIN; organ development; vascular development; stem-cell maintenance; NO VEIN
Polar auxin transport, which is required for the formation of auxin gradients and directional auxin flows that are critical for plant pattern formation, morphogenesis, and directional growth response to vectorial cues, is mediated by polarized sub-cellular distribution of PIN-FORMED Proteins (PINs, auxin efflux carriers), AUX1/AUX1-like proteins (auxin influx facilitators), and multidrug resistance P-glycoproteins (MDR/PGP). Polar localization of these proteins is controlled by both developmental and environmental cues. Recent studies have revealed cellular (endocytosis, transcytosis, and endosomal sorting and recycling) and molecular (PINOID kinase, protein phosphatase 2A) mechanisms underlying the polar distribution of these auxin transport proteins. Both TIR1-mediated auxin signaling and TIR1-independent auxin-mediated endocytosis have been shown to regulate polar PIN localization and auxin flow, implicating auxin as a self-organizing signal in directing polar transport and directional flows.
PIN proteins; PINOID; ROP GTPases; polarity; protein traffic and secretion; signal transduction
How instructive signals are translated into robust and predictable changes in growth is a central question in developmental biology. Recently, much interest has centered on the feedback between chemical instructions and mechanical changes for pattern formation in development. In plants, the patterned arrangement of aerial organs, or phyllotaxis, is instructed by the phytohormone auxin; however, it still remains to be seen how auxin is linked, at the apex, to the biochemical and mechanical changes of the cell wall required for organ outgrowth. Here, using Atomic Force Microscopy, we demonstrate that auxin reduces tissue rigidity prior to organ outgrowth in the shoot apex of Arabidopsis thaliana, and that the de-methyl-esterification of pectin is necessary for this reduction. We further show that development of functional organs produced by pectin-mediated ectopic wall softening requires auxin signaling. Lastly, we demonstrate that coordinated localization of the auxin transport protein, PIN1, is disrupted in a naked-apex produced by increasing cell wall rigidity. Our data indicates that a feedback loop between the instructive chemical auxin and cell wall mechanics may play a crucial role in phyllotactic patterning.
Dynamically polarized membrane proteins define different cell boundaries and have an important role in intercellular communication—a vital feature of multicellular development. Efflux carriers for the signalling molecule auxin from the PIN family1 are landmarks of cell polarity in plants and have a crucial involvement in auxin distribution-dependent development including embryo patterning, organogenesis and tropisms2–7. Polar PIN localization determines the direction of intercellular auxin flow8, yet the mechanisms generating PIN polarity remain unclear. Here we identify an endocytosis-dependent mechanism of PIN polarity generation and analyse its developmental implications. Real-time PIN tracking showed that after synthesis, PINs are initially delivered to the plasma membrane in a non-polar manner and their polarity is established by subsequent endocytic recycling. Interference with PIN endocytosis either by auxin or by manipulation of the Arabidopsis Rab5 GTPase pathway prevents PIN polarization. Failure of PIN polarization transiently alters asymmetric auxin distribution during embryogenesis and increases the local auxin response in apical embryo regions. This results in ectopic expression of auxin pathway-associated root-forming master regulators in embryonic leaves and promotes homeotic transformation of leaves to roots. Our results indicate a two-step mechanism for the generation of PIN polar localization and the essential role of endocytosis in this process. It also highlights the link between endocytosis-dependent polarity of individual cells and auxin distribution-dependent cell fate establishment for multicellular patterning.
Light plays a key role in multiple plant developmental processes. It has been shown that root development is modulated by shoot-localized light signaling and requires shoot-derived transport of the plant hormone, auxin. However, the mechanism by which light regulates root development is not largely understood. In plants, the endogenous auxin, indole-3-acetic acid, is directionally transported by plasma-membrane (PM)-localized auxin influx and efflux carriers in transporting cells. Remarkably, the auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins exhibit asymmetric PM localization, determining the polarity of auxin transport. Similar to PM-resident receptors and transporters in animal and yeast cells, PIN proteins undergo constitutive cycling between the PM and endosomal compartments. Auxin plays multiple roles in PIN protein intracellular trafficking, inhibiting PIN2 endocytosis at some concentrations and promoting PIN2 degradation at others. However, how PIN proteins are turned over in plant cells is yet to be addressed.
Methodology and Principle Findings
Using laser confocal scanning microscopy, and physiological and molecular genetic approaches, here, we show that in dark-grown seedlings, the PM localization of auxin efflux carrier PIN2 was largely reduced, and, in addition, PIN2 signal was detected in vacuolar compartments. This is in contrast to light-grown seedlings where PIN2 was predominantly PM-localized. In light-grown plants after shift to dark or to continuous red or far-red light, PIN2 also accumulated in vacuolar compartments. We show that PIN2 vacuolar targeting was derived from the PM via endocytic trafficking and inhibited by HY5-dependent light signaling. In addition, the ubiquitin 26S proteasome is involved in the process, since its inhibition by mutations in COP9 and a proteasome inhibitor MG132 impaired the process.
Conclusions and Significance
Collectively, our data indicate that light plays an essential role in PIN2 intracellular trafficking, promoting PM-localization in the presence of light and, on the other hand, vacuolar targeting for protein degradation in the absence of light. Based on these results, we postulate that light regulation of root development is mediated at least in part by changes in the intracellular distribution of auxin efflux carriers, PIN proteins, in response to the light environment.
Shoot branching is regulated by competition between branches to export the phytohormone auxin into the main stem. The phytohormone strigolactone balances shoot system growth by making auxin export harder to establish, thus modulating the auxin transport network.
Plants continuously extend their root and shoot systems through the action of meristems at their growing tips. By regulating which meristems are active, plants adjust their body plans to suit local environmental conditions. The transport network of the phytohormone auxin has been proposed to mediate this systemic growth coordination, due to its self-organising, environmentally sensitive properties. In particular, a positive feedback mechanism termed auxin transport canalization, which establishes auxin flow from active shoot meristems (auxin sources) to the roots (auxin sinks), has been proposed to mediate competition between shoot meristems and to balance shoot and root growth. Here we provide strong support for this hypothesis by demonstrating that a second hormone, strigolactone, regulates growth redistribution in the shoot by rapidly modulating auxin transport. A computational model in which strigolactone action is represented as an increase in the rate of removal of the auxin export protein, PIN1, from the plasma membrane can reproduce both the auxin transport and shoot branching phenotypes observed in various mutant combinations and strigolactone treatments, including the counterintuitive ability of strigolactones either to promote or inhibit shoot branching, depending on the auxin transport status of the plant. Consistent with this predicted mode of action, strigolactone signalling was found to trigger PIN1 depletion from the plasma membrane of xylem parenchyma cells in the stem. This effect could be detected within 10 minutes of strigolactone treatment and was independent of protein synthesis but dependent on clathrin-mediated membrane trafficking. Together these results support the hypothesis that growth across the plant shoot system is balanced by competition between shoot apices for a common auxin transport path to the root and that strigolactones regulate shoot branching by modulating this competition.
Plants can adapt their form to suit the environment in which they are growing. For example, genetically identical plants can develop as a single unbranched stem or as a highly ramified bush. This broad developmental potential is possible because the shoot system is produced continuously by growing tips, known as shoot meristems. Meristems produce the stem and leaves of a shoot, and at the base of each leaf, a new meristem is formed. This meristem can remain dormant as a small bud or activate to produce a branch. Thus, the shoot system is a community of shoot meristems, the combined activity and inactivity of which shape shoot form. Here we provide evidence that growth is balanced across the Arabidopsis shoot system by competition between the shoot meristems. This competition is likely mediated by the requirement of meristems to export the plant hormone auxin in order to activate bud outgrowth. In our model, auxin in the main stem, exported from active branches, can prevent auxin export by dormant buds, thus preventing their activation. Our findings show that a second hormone, strigolactone, increases the level of competition between branches by making auxin export harder to establish. Together, these hormones balance growth across the shoot system, adjusting it according to the environmental conditions in which a plant is growing.
Growth and morphogenesis in plants require controlled transport of the plant hormone auxin. An important participant is the auxin effluxing protein PIN, whose polarized subcellular localization allows it to effectively transport auxin large distances through tissues. The flux-based model, in which auxin flux through a wall stimulates PIN allocation to that wall, is a dominant contender among models determining where and in what quantity PIN is allocated to cell walls. In this paper we characterise the behaviour of flux-based PIN allocation models in various tissues of the shoot apical meristem. Arguing from both mathematical analysis and computer simulations, we describe the natural behaviours of this class of models under various circumstances. In particular, we demonstrate the important dichotomy between sink- and source- driven systems, and show that both diffuse and canalized PIN distributions can be generated simultaneously in the same tissue, without model hybridization or variation of PIN-related parameters. This work is performed in the context of the shoot apical and floral meristems and is applicable to the construction of a unified PIN allocation model.
Auxin regulates several aspects of plant growth and development. Auxin is unique among plant hormones for exhibiting polar transport. Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), the major form of auxin in higher plants, is a weak acid and its intercellular movement is facilitated by auxin influx and efflux carriers. Polarity of auxin movement is provided by asymmetric localization of auxin carriers (mainly PIN efflux carriers). PIN-FORMED (PIN) and P-GLYCOPROTEIN (PGP) family of proteins are major auxin efflux carriers whereas AUXIN1/LIKE-AUX1 (AUX/LAX) are major auxin influx carriers. Genetic and biochemical evidence show that each member of the AUX/LAX family is a functional auxin influx carrier and mediate auxin related developmental programmes in different organs and tissues. Of the four AUX/LAX genes, AUX1 regulates root gravitropism, root hair development and leaf phyllotaxy whereas LAX2 regulates vascular development in cotyledons. Both AUX1 and LAX3 have been implicated in lateral root (LR) development as well as apical hook formation whereas both AUX1 and LAX1 and possibly LAX2 are required for leaf phyllotactic patterning.
AUXLAX; auxin transport; auxin; AUX1; LAX1; LAX2; LAX3; influx carriers
Plant tropisms are decisively influenced by dynamic adjustments in spatiotemporal distribution of the growth regulators auxin. Polar auxin transport requires activity of PIN-type auxin carrier proteins, with their distribution at the plasma membrane significantly contributing to the directionality of auxin flow. Control of PIN protein distribution involves regulation of their endocytosis and further sorting into the lytic vacuole for degradation and recently, protein ubiquitylation has been demonstrated to control degradative sorting of plasma membrane proteins in plants.1-6 Here we show dynamic adjustments in PIN2 ubiquitylation in gravity-stimulated roots, a response that coincides with establishment of a lateral PIN2 expression gradient. Our results imply that perception and transduction of gravity signals triggers differential ubiquitylation of PIN2, which might feed back on the coordination of auxin distribution in root meristems.
Auxin transport; PIN protein; ubiquitin; root gravitropism; protein degradation
Spatiotemporal coordination between multiple hormonal pathways is a key determinant of plant growth. This coordination can be mediated by distribution of the auxin network via the action of PIN auxin efflux carriers. We showed that brassinosteroids (BRs) promote cell proliferation and cell expansion of meristematic cells. Hence, roots with high epidermal expression of the BR receptor BRI1 have enlarged meristem whereas bri1 mutant has a reduced meristem size. Because the extent of mitotic activity and differentiation is tightly linked to auxin gradient we further asked how the BR pathway integrates with current proposed models for PIN regulation. We showed that the small meristem of BR deficient plants does not involve transcriptional modulation of PIN 1, 3 and 7 genes. Here, we found that PIN2 and PIN4 are under transcriptional regulation. However, their accumulation in the epidermis/cortex and columella respectively was also determined by BRs in a post-transcriptional manner. Thus, BRs impinge on auxin distribution through distinct regulatory modes and the self-organizing auxin system represents at least one mechanism that contributes to BR-mediated growth.
Arabidopsis; Auxin transport; BRI1; PIN proteins; root meristem
Plant seedlings have either one or two cotyledons. The mechanisms that regulate this organ number are poorly understood. Mutations in the RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE1 (RPK1) gene of the dicot Arabidopsis have only one cotyledon, with low penetrance due to complex genetic redundancy. An analysis of patterning genes required for cotyledon initiation showed that these have normal expression patterns, defining the cotyledon anlagen, in rpk1. This was also true for key genes, which organize the shoot apical meristem (SAM). By contrast, epidermal cell shape and polarity were compromised in rpk1 embryos, as evidenced by disturbed polarity of the auxin efflux carrier PIN1. PIN1 is required for the establishment of auxin maxima, which induce and maintain organ primordia. The effects in rpk1 mutants manifest in a spatially and timely stochastic fashion probably due to redundancy of RPK1-like functions. Consistently, auxin maxima showed a stochastic distribution in rpk1 embryos, being at times entirely absent and at other times supernumerary. This variability may explain how monocotyledonous seedlings and cotyledon shape variants can developmentally arise in Arabidopsis and possibly in other plants.
Angiosperm evolution; Arabidopsis; Cotyledon; Embryo development; RPK1
Plant cells experience a tremendous amount of mechanical stress caused by turgor pressure. Because cells are glued to their neighbors by the middle lamella, supracellular patterns of physical forces are emerging during growth, usually leading to tension in the epidermis. Cortical microtubules have been shown to reorient in response to these mechanical stresses, and to resist them, indirectly via their impact on the anisotropic structure of the cell wall. In a recent study, we show that the polar localization of the auxin efflux carrier PIN1 can also be under the control of physical forces, thus linking cell growth rate and anisotropy by a common mechanical signal. Because of the known impact of auxin on the stiffness of the cell wall, this suggests that the mechanical properties of the extracellular matrix play a crucial signaling role in morphogenesis, notably controlling the polarity of the cell, as observed in animal systems.
development; growth; auxin; microtubule; PIN1; stiffness; cell wall; biophysics; meristem
A review of the PIN auxin-efflux transporters, which have important roles in plant development.
The PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins are secondary transporters acting in the efflux of the plant signal molecule auxin from cells. They are asymmetrically localized within cells and their polarity determines the directionality of intercellular auxin flow. PIN genes are found exclusively in the genomes of multicellular plants and play an important role in regulating asymmetric auxin distribution in multiple developmental processes, including embryogenesis, organogenesis, tissue differentiation and tropic responses. All PIN proteins have a similar structure with amino- and carboxy-terminal hydrophobic, membrane-spanning domains separated by a central hydrophilic domain. The structure of the hydrophobic domains is well conserved. The hydrophilic domain is more divergent and it determines eight groups within the protein family. The activity of PIN proteins is regulated at multiple levels, including transcription, protein stability, subcellular localization and transport activity. Different endogenous and environmental signals can modulate PIN activity and thus modulate auxin-distribution-dependent development. A large group of PIN proteins, including the most ancient members known from mosses, localize to the endoplasmic reticulum and they regulate the subcellular compartmentalization of auxin and thus auxin metabolism. Further work is needed to establish the physiological importance of this unexpected mode of auxin homeostasis regulation. Furthermore, the evolution of PIN-based transport, PIN protein structure and more detailed biochemical characterization of the transport function are important topics for further studies.
The phytohormone auxin contributes to virtually every aspect of the plant development. The spatiotemporal distribution of auxin depends on a complex interplay between auxin metabolism and intercellular auxin transport. Intracellular auxin compartmentalization provides another link between auxin transport processes and auxin metabolism. The PIN-LIKES (PILS) putative auxin carriers localize to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and contribute to cellular auxin homeostasis. PILS proteins regulate intracellular auxin accumulation, the rate of auxin conjugation and, subsequently, affect nuclear auxin signaling. Here, we investigate sequence diversification of the PILS family in Arabidopsis thaliana and provide insights into the evolution of these novel putative auxin carriers in plants. Our data suggest that PILS proteins are conserved throughout the plant lineage and expanded during higher plant evolution. PILS proteins diversified early during plant evolution into three clades. Besides the ancient Clade I encompassing non-land plant species, PILS proteins evolved into two clades. The diversification of Clade II and Clade III occurred already at the level of non-vascular plant evolution and, hence, both clades contain vascular and non-vascular plant species. Nevertheless, Clade III contains fewer non- and increased numbers of vascular plants, indicating higher importance of Clade III for vascular plant evolution. Notably, PILS proteins are distinct and appear evolutionarily older than the prominent PIN-FORMED auxin carriers. Moreover, we revealed particular PILS sequence divergence in Arabidopsis and assume that these alterations could contribute to distinct gene regulations and protein functions.
PILS proteins; auxin; evolution; phylogeny; auxin metabolism; auxin homeostasis
Auxin polar transport is crucial in regulating plant growth and patterning. As auxin efflux carriers, the PIN FORMED (PIN) proteins are responsible for transportation of auxin out of the cell. There are eight and ten PIN members in Arabidopsis (AtPIN) and Medicago truncatula (MtPIN), respectively. Compared with MtPIN10/SMOOTH LEAF MARGIN1 (SLM1), MtPIN4 exhibits a closer relationship with AtPIN1 based phylogenetic analysis. In addition, the gene structure and distribution of transmembrane segments of MtPIN4, MtPIN5 and MtPIN10/SLM1 are similar, implying possible redundant roles among them. However, analysis using Gene Expression Atlas revealed different expression patterns among MtPIN4, MtPIN5 and MtPIN10/SLM1. Loss of function of MtPIN10/SLM1 in M. truncatula resulted in pleiotropic phenotypes in different organs, which are similar with the defects in the pin1 mutant of Arabidopsis, suggesting that the MtPIN10/SLM1 is a putative ortholog of AtPIN1. MtPIN4, MtPIN5 and MtPIN10/SLM1 may have limited redundant functions in the development of M. truncatula. The creation of double and triple mutants will help to elucidate their potential roles in auxin transport and plant development.
Tnt1-tagged mutant; Arabidopsis; auxin; PIN-FORMED
Auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins have been intensively investigated as they are the first polar cargos to be identified in plants with a direct relevance for plant patterning. Based on their polar localization; PIN proteins direct the intercellular flow of signaling molecule auxin and thus bear a rate limiting effect on the formation of auxin activity gradients. With this influence on directionality and extent of auxin transport PINs play crucial roles in plant body organization. Many factors such as vesicle trafficking regulator ARF-GEF GNOM, a kinase PINOID, a retromer complex and membrane sterol composition influence polar PIN localization. Recent work uncovers the mechanism that generates default PIN polarity. Real time PIN tracking reveals that PIN polarity is generated from initially non-polar secretion via endocytosis and subsequent polar recycling. In addition, the Rab5 endocytic pathway emerges to be important for polar PIN localization as Rab5 interference causes non-polar distribution of PINs. This non-polar distribution of PINs during embryogenesis transiently alters auxin activity gradients and changes organ identity by transforming embryonic leaf cells to root fates. These findings for the first time link PIN polarity-based auxin activity gradient to cell fate decisions and thus demonstrate morphogen (a substance influencing cell fates on its concentration gradient) characters of auxin. They also suggest an auxin activity distribution-dependent sensing module that executes differential apical and basal developmental program during plant embryogenesis.
cell polarity; endocytosis; morphogen gradient; auxin; PIN proteins; Rab 5; embryogenesis
Understanding how hormones and genes interact to coordinate plant growth is a major challenge in developmental biology. The activities of auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin depend on cellular context and exhibit either synergistic or antagonistic interactions. Here we use experimentation and network construction to elucidate the role of the interaction of the POLARIS peptide (PLS) and the auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins in the crosstalk of three hormones (auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin) in Arabidopsis root development. In ethylene hypersignaling mutants such as polaris (pls), we show experimentally that expression of both PIN1 and PIN2 significantly increases. This relationship is analyzed in the context of the crosstalk between auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin: in pls, endogenous auxin, ethylene and cytokinin concentration decreases, approximately remains unchanged and increases, respectively. Experimental data are integrated into a hormonal crosstalk network through combination with information in literature. Network construction reveals that the regulation of both PIN1 and PIN2 is predominantly via ethylene signaling. In addition, it is deduced that the relationship between cytokinin and PIN1 and PIN2 levels implies a regulatory role of cytokinin in addition to its regulation to auxin, ethylene, and PLS levels. We discuss how the network of hormones and genes coordinates plant growth by simultaneously regulating the activities of auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin signaling pathways.
hormonal crosstalk; root development; auxin flux; PIN proteins; PLS protein; signaling network
In plants, auxin distribution and tissue patterning are coordinated via a feedback loop involving the auxin-regulated cell polarity factor ICR1 and the secretory machinery.
Development in multicellular organisms depends on the ability of individual cells to coordinate their behavior by means of small signaling molecules to form correctly patterned tissues. In plants, a unique mechanism of directional transport of the signaling molecule auxin between cells connects cell polarity and tissue patterning and thus is required for many aspects of plant development. Direction of auxin flow is determined by polar subcellular localization of PIN auxin efflux transporters. Dynamic PIN polar localization results from the constitutive endocytic cycling to and from the plasma membrane, but it is not well understood how this mechanism connects to regulators of cell polarity. The Rho family small GTPases ROPs/RACs are master regulators of cell polarity, however their role in regulating polar protein trafficking and polar auxin transport has not been established. Here, by analysis of mutants and transgenic plants, we show that the ROP interactor and polarity regulator scaffold protein ICR1 is required for recruitment of PIN proteins to the polar domains at the plasma membrane. icr1 mutant embryos and plants display an a array of severe developmental aberrations that are caused by compromised differential auxin distribution. ICR1 functions at the plasma membrane where it is required for exocytosis but does not recycle together with PINs. ICR1 expression is quickly induced by auxin but is suppressed at the positions of stable auxin maxima in the hypophysis and later in the embryonic and mature root meristems. Our results imply that ICR1 is part of an auxin regulated positive feedback loop realized by a unique integration of auxin-dependent transcriptional regulation into ROP-mediated modulation of cell polarity. Thus, ICR1 forms an auxin-modulated link between cell polarity, exocytosis, and auxin transport-dependent tissue patterning.
The coordination of different cells during pattern formation is a fundamental process in the development of multicellular organisms. In plants, a unique mechanism of directional transport of the signaling molecule auxin between cells demonstrates the importance of cell polarity for tissue patterning. The direction of auxin flow is determined by polar subcellular localization of auxin transport proteins called PINs, which facilitate auxin efflux. At the same time, an auxin-mediated positive feedback mechanism reinforces the polar distribution of PINs. However, the molecular mechanisms that underlie polar PIN localization are not well understood. In eukaryotic cells, the Rho family of small GTPases function as central regulators of cell polarity. We show that a Rho-interacting protein from plants, called ICR1, is required for recruitment via the secretory system of PIN proteins to polar domains in the cell membrane. As a result, ICR1 is required for directional auxin transport and distribution and thereby for proper pattern formation. In addition, both the expression and subcellular localization of ICR1 are regulated by auxin, suggesting that ICR1 could function in a positive feedback loop that reinforces auxin distribution. Thus, ICR1 forms an auxin-modulated link between cell polarity, protein secretion, and auxin-dependent tissue patterning.
Emergence of a new lateral root primordium through the outer layers of the parental root requires the sequential auxin-mediated induction of two auxin transporters. This positive feedback regulatory loop coordinates patterned gene expression in outer tissues.
The emergence of lateral roots through several tissues requires the precise regulation of gene expression in overlaying cells to trigger cell separation.Auxin derived from new lateral root primordia induces a positive feedback loop in the outer tissues by promoting the expression of the auxin influx transporter LAX3.A mathematical model based on realistic 3D geometries predicted the involvement of an auxin efflux carrier that was later identified to be PIN3.The model also revealed that PIN3 must be expressed before LAX3 to ensure a ‘robust' pattern of LAX3 induction in just two overlaying cortical cell files, thereby delimiting cell separation.
In Arabidopsis, lateral roots originate from pericycle cells deep within the primary root. New lateral root primordia (LRP) have to emerge through several overlaying tissues. Here, we report that auxin produced in new LRP is transported towards the outer tissues where it triggers cell separation by inducing both the auxin influx carrier LAX3 and cell-wall enzymes. LAX3 is expressed in just two cell files overlaying new LRP. To understand how this striking pattern of LAX3 expression is regulated, we developed a mathematical model that captures the network regulating its expression and auxin transport within realistic three-dimensional cell and tissue geometries. Our model revealed that, for the LAX3 spatial expression to be robust to natural variations in root tissue geometry, an efflux carrier is required—later identified to be PIN3. To prevent LAX3 from being transiently expressed in multiple cell files, PIN3 and LAX3 must be induced consecutively, which we later demonstrated to be the case. Our study exemplifies how mathematical models can be used to direct experiments to elucidate complex developmental processes.
3D modelling; auxin transport; lateral root emergence; ODE
In Arabidopsis, lateral organ initiation correlates with the formation of an auxin maximum in a group of cells at the periphery of the shoot apical meristem (SAM). This signal establishes founder cells that build the lateral organ. Primordia initiation is closely associated with the creation of a functional boundary that separates the newly formed primordium from the remainder of the meristem. In the June issue of Plant Cell, we have characterised the JLO (for Jagged Lateral Organ) gene of Arabidopsis, a member of the Lateral Organ boundary Domain gene family. JLO is expressed in boundaries and regulates both auxin transport, via a negative regulation of PIN auxin export carriers, and meristem fate by promoting the expression of the KNOX genes SHOOTMERISTEMLESS (STM) and BP/KNAT1. In this Addendum, we discuss the regulation of PIN genes by JLO, and propose a model for JLO function during embryonic and post-embryonic development.
auxin transport; embryo development; meristem; lateral organ; LBD genes
Background and Aims
The root apical meristem (RAM) is the plant stem cell niche which provides for the formation and continuous development of the root. Auxin is the main regulator of RAM functioning, and auxin maxima coincide with the sites of RAM initiation and maintenance. Auxin gradients are formed due to local auxin biosynthesis and polar auxin transport. The PIN family of auxin transporters plays a critical role in polar auxin transport, and two mechanisms of auxin maximum formation in the RAM based on PIN-mediated auxin transport have been proposed to date: the reverse fountain and the reflected flow mechanisms.
The two mechanisms are combined here in in silico studies of auxin distribution in intact roots and roots cut into two pieces in the proximal meristem region. In parallel, corresponding experiments were performed in vivo using DR5::GFP Arabidopsis plants.
The reverse fountain and the reflected flow mechanism naturally cooperate for RAM patterning and maintenance in intact root. Regeneration of the RAM in decapitated roots is provided by the reflected flow mechanism. In the excised root tips local auxin biosynthesis either alone or in cooperation with the reverse fountain enables RAM maintenance.
The efficiency of a dual-mechanism model in guiding biological experiments on RAM regeneration and maintenance is demonstrated. The model also allows estimation of the concentrations of auxin and PINs in root cells during development and under various treatments. The dual-mechanism model proposed here can be a powerful tool for the study of several different aspects of auxin function in root.
Auxin response; root apical meristem; patterning; reverse fountain; reflected flow; mathematical model; Arabidopsis thaliana