The plant shoot apical meristem is established early during embryogenesis and subsequently gives rise to a shoot through reiterative generation of lateral organs and axillary meristems. In our recent manuscript we reported identification and characterization of a semi-dominant mutation in ribosomal protein RPL27a, which disrupts plant growth and shoot development.1 rpl27ac-1d effects on the shoot are evident from an early stage of embryo development. During embryogenesis rpl27-1d mutants are slow growing and are defective in apical patterning with a delay in establishment of the shoot meristem and outgrowth of cotyledons. Concomitant with this disturbed patterning, the shoot meristem genes SHOOT MERISTEMLESS (STM) and CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON2 (CUC2) are misexpressed in outer cell layers of the rpl27ac-1d embryo and there is a delay in expression of the organ-patterning gene FILAMENTOUS FLOWER (FIL). Genetic interactions between rpl27ac-1d and other ribosomal protein mutants indicates rpl27ac-1d has reduced ribosome function. Our results highlight a role for ribosomal proteins in growth and development and we propose that the ribosome regulates specific patterning events during development.
development; meristem; organ polarity; ribosomal protein
The 26S proteasome is a large multisubunit proteolytic complex, regulating growth and development in eukaryotes by selective removal of short-lived regulatory proteins. Here, it is shown that the 26S proteasome and the transcription factor gene REVOLUTA (REV) act together in maintaining inflorescence and floral meristem (IM and FM) functions. The characterization of a newly identified Arabidopsis mutant, designated ae4 (asymmetric leaves1/2 enhancer4), which carries a mutation in the gene encoding the 26S proteasome subunit, RPN2a, is reported. ae4 and rev have minor defects in phyllotaxy structure and meristem initiation, respectively, whereas ae4 rev demonstrated strong developmental defects. Compared with the rev single mutant, an increased percentage of ae4 rev plants exhibited abnormal vegetative shoot apical and axillary meristems. After flowering, ae4 rev first gave rise to a few normal-looking flowers, and then flowers with reduced numbers of all types of floral organs. In late reproductive development, instead of flowers, the ae4 rev IM produced numerous filamentous structures, which contained cells seen only in the floral organs, and then carpelloid organs. In situ hybridization revealed that expression of the WUSCHEL and CLAVATA3 genes was severely down-regulated or absent in the late appearing ae4 rev primordia, but the genes were strongly expressed in top-layer cells of inflorescence tips. Double mutant plants combining rev with other 26S proteasome subunit mutants, rpn1a and rpn9a, resembled ae4 rev, suggesting that the 26S proteasome might act as a whole in regulating IM and FM functions.
Arabidopsis; floral meristem; inflorescence meristem; 26S proteasome; REVOLUTA
• Background and Aims Lotus japonicus ‘Gifu’ develops multiple axillary shoots in the cotyledonary node region throughout the growth of the plant. The origin, initiation and development of these axillary meristems were investigated.
• Methods Morphological, histological and mRNA in situ analyses were done to characterize the ontogeny of cotyledonary axillary shoot meristems in Lotus. Morphological characterization of a putative Lotus shoot branching mutant (super-accessory branches) sac, is presented.
• Key Results By using expression of an L. japonicus STM-like gene as a marker for meristematic tissues, it was demonstrated that groups of cells maintained in the meristematic state at the cotyledonary axil region coincide with the sites where additional axillary meristems (accessory meristems) form. A Lotus shoot branching mutant, sac, is a putative Lotus branching mutant characterized by increased proliferation of accessory shoots in all leaf axils including the cotyledons.
• Conclusion. In Lotus, axillary shoot meristems continually develop at the cotyledonary node region throughout the growth of the plant. These cotyledonary primary and accessory axillaries arise from the position of a meristematic zone of tissue at the cotyledonary node axil region.
Axillary meristems; accessory meristems; shoot branching; Lotus japonicus; sac
Two related genes encoding AP2/ERF-type transcription factors, AINTEGUMENTA (ANT) and AINTEGUMENTA-LIKE6 (AIL6), are important regulators of floral growth and patterning in Arabidopsis. Evidence suggests that these genes promote several aspects of flower development in response to auxin. To investigate the interplay of ANT, AIL6 and auxin during floral development, I have examined the phenotypic consequences of disrupting polar auxin transport in ant, ail6 and ant ail6 mutants by either genetic or chemical means.
Plants containing mutations in ANT or AIL6 alone or in both genes together exhibit increased sensitivity to disruptions in polar auxin transport. Both genes promote shoot growth, floral meristem initiation and floral meristem patterning in combination with auxin transport. However, differences in the responses of ant and ail6 single mutants to perturbations in auxin transport suggest that these two genes also have non-overlapping activities in each of these developmental processes.
The enhanced sensitivity of ant and ail6 mutants to alterations in polar auxin transport suggests that these mutants have defects in some aspect of auxin physiology. The inability of ant ail6 double mutants to initiate flowers in backgrounds disrupted for auxin transport confirm the proposed roles for these two genes in floral meristem initiation.
Throughout their lives plants produce new organs from groups of pluripotent cells called meristems, located at the tips of the shoot and the root. The size of the shoot meristem is tightly controlled by a feedback loop, which involves the homeodomain transcription factor WUSCHEL (WUS) and the CLAVATA (CLV) proteins. This regulatory circuit is further fine-tuned by morphogenic signals such as hormones and sugars.
Here we show that a family of four plant-specific proteins, encoded by the FANTASTIC FOUR (FAF) genes, has the potential to regulate shoot meristem size in Arabidopsis thaliana. FAF2 and FAF4 are expressed in the centre of the shoot meristem, overlapping with the site of WUS expression. Consistent with a regulatory interaction between the FAF gene family and WUS, our experiments indicate that the FAFs can repress WUS, which ultimately leads to an arrest of meristem activity in FAF overexpressing lines. The finding that meristematic expression of FAF2 and FAF4 is under negative control by CLV3 further supports the hypothesis that the FAFs are modulators of the genetic circuit that regulates the meristem.
This study reports the initial characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana FAF gene family. Our data indicate that the FAF genes form a plant specific gene family, the members of which have the potential to regulate the size of the shoot meristem by modulating the CLV3-WUS feedback loop.
Background and Aims
In angiosperms, the shoot apical meristem produces a shoot system composed of stems, leaves and axillary buds. Podostemoideae, one of three subfamilies of the river-weed family Podostemaceae, have a unique ‘shoot’ that lacks a shoot apical meristem and is composed only of leaves. Tristichoideae have been interpreted to have a shoot apical meristem, although its branching pattern is uncertain. The shoot developmental pattern in Weddellinoideae has not been investigated with a focus on the meristem. Weddellinoideae are in a phylogenetically key position to reveal the process of shoot evolution in Podostemaceae.
The shoot development of Weddellina squamulosa, the sole species of Weddellinoideae, was investigated using scanning electron microscopy and semi-thin serial sections.
The shoot of W. squamulosa has a tunica–corpus-organized apical meristem. It is determinate and successively initiates a new branch extra-axillarily at the base of an immediately older branch, resulting in a sympodial, approximately plane branching pattern. Large scaly leaves initiate acropetally on the flanks of the apical meristem, as is usual in angiosperms, whereas small scaly leaves scattered on the stem initiate basipetally in association with the elongation of internodes.
Weddellinoideae, like Tristichoideae, have a shoot apical meristem, leading to the hypothesis that the meristem was lost in Podostemoideae. The patterns of leaf formation in Podostemoideae and shoot branching in Weddellinoideae are similar in that these organs arise at the bases of older organs. This similarity leads to another hypothesis that the ‘branch’ in Weddellinoideae (and possibly Tristichoideae) and the ‘leaf’ in Podostemoideae are comparable, and that the shoot apical meristem disappeared in the early evolution of Podostemaceae.
Anatomy; development; evolution; Podostemaceae; shoot; shoot apical meristem; Weddellina squamulosa
Dwarfism traits in Zea mays are regulated by multiple factors including the hormone auxin. Dwarf brachytic2 (br2) mutants harbour lesions in the gene encoding an orthologue of Arabidopsis thaliana ABCB1 which functions in auxin efflux out of meristematic regions in the shoot and root. br2 mesocotyls and coleoptiles exhibit reduced auxin transport. However, the dwarf stature of br2 derives from shortened lower internodes whilst the upper portion of the plant is completely normal. As such, it is counter-intuitive to attribute br2 dwarfism exclusively to reduced auxin export out of the shoot apex. Arabidopsis abcb1 mutants exhibit only minor reductions in auxin transport and plant height unless combined with mutations in the ABCB19 auxin transporter. Phylogenetic modelling analysis excludes the possibility that BR2 is more closely related to ABCB19 which has three more closely related orthologues in maize. BR2 is expressed in nodal meristems, and analyses of auxin transport and content indicate that BR2 function in these grass-specific tissues is analogous to ABCB1 function in the shoot and root apex of Arabidopsis. These results indicate that ABCB1/BR2 function is conserved between dicots and monocots, but also suggests that this function must be understood in the context of the segmental organization of grass plants.
ABC transporter; Arabidopsis; auxin; dwarfism; maize
Aciculosporium take causes continuous shoot growth but maintains normal leaf-arrangement and branching patterns in the host plant, which eventually resulting in witches' broom disease of bamboo. An in situ hybridization technique with a species-specific oligonucleotide probe was recently used to demonstrate that endophytic mycelia of A. take is predominantly distributed in the intercellular spaces of the shoot apical meristem of the host. Endophytic hyphae in meristematic tissues, which may produce auxin, are responsible for continuous primordium initiation within the shoot apex. Here I examine another bamboo witches' broom causal fungus, Heteroepichloë sasae. Both species are biotrophic and belong to family Clavicipitaceae: however, H. sasae does not cause continuous shoot growth. Histological study showed that H. sasae mycelia were distributed superficially, even on shoot apical meristems. These observations suggest that when their stromata develop, endophytic A. take destroys shoot apical meristem and epiphytic H. sasae chokes the shoot apex of the host. Stromata formation consequently causes lateral bud out-growth because of release from apical dominance. This process repeats and eventually results in the witches' broom symptoms.
apical dominance; endophyte; epiphyte; histology; shoot development; witches' broom symptom
Cell division and cell fate decisions regulate organ formation and function in plant growth and development. It is still unclear how specific meristematic regulatory networks operate with the cell cycle machinery to translate stem cell identity and maintenance into cellular behavior. In this study, we address these questions by analysis of a shoot apex defective mutant, namely xcm9.
Phenotypic analysis of the xcm9 mutant reveals concomitant premature termination of floral shoots with frequent bifurcation of the shoot apices, stems, and flowers. Microscopic observations show irregular cell organization in shoot apical meristems of xcm9. Positional cloning revealed that xcm9 is a loss of function allele of the CCS52A2/FZR1 gene, which has previously been implicated in root development. Expression analysis demonstrated that CCS52A2 maintains a higher transcriptional expression level in actively dividing tissue. Genetic studies indicated that the CCS52A2 gene functions together with WUSCHEL (WUS) and CLAVATA3 (CLV3) in regulating the development of the shoot meristem, and also contributes to this regulation together with the chromatin remodeling pathway. In addition, fewer xcm9 cells express CYCLIN B1:1, showing that cell cycle progression is disrupted in the mutant.
We propose that the CCS52A2 gene is a mediator that functions together with meristematic genes to regulate meristem organization, and cross-functions with chromatin regulators in cell cycle progression during shoot apical meristem development.
Rice MONOCULM 1 (MOC1) and its orthologues LS/LAS (lateral suppressor in tomato and Arabidopsis) are key promoting factors of shoot branching and tillering in higher plants. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating MOC1/LS/LAS have remained elusive. Here we show that the rice tiller enhancer (te) mutant displays a drastically increased tiller number. We demonstrate that TE encodes a rice homologue of Cdh1, and that TE acts as an activator of the anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) complex. We show that TE coexpresses with MOC1 in the axil of leaves, where the APC/CTE complex mediates the degradation of MOC1 by the ubiquitin–26S proteasome pathway, and consequently downregulates the expression of the meristem identity gene Oryza sativa homeobox 1, thus repressing axillary meristem initiation and formation. We conclude that besides having a conserved role in regulating cell cycle, APC/CTE has a unique function in regulating the plant-specific postembryonic shoot branching and tillering, which are major determinants of plant architecture and grain yield.
The protein complex APC/C is an E3 ubiquitin ligase and its subunit Cdh1 determines substrate recognition. Lin et al. show that the transcriptional regulator MONOCULM1 is a substrate of the rice homologue of Cdh1 and that APC/C-mediated degradation of MONOCULM1 controls rice tillering, a determinant of grain yield.
The Arabidopsis microRNA156 (miR156) regulates 11 members of the SQUAMOSA PROMOTER BINDING PROTEIN LIKE (SPL) family by base pairing to complementary target mRNAs. Each SPL gene further regulates a set of other genes; thus, miR156 controls numerous genes through a complex gene regulation network. Increased axillary branching occurs in transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing miR156b, similar to that observed in loss-of-function max3 and max4 mutants with lesions in carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases. Arabidopsis miR156b was found to enhance carotenoid levels and reproductive shoot branching when expressed in Brassica napus, suggesting a link between miR156b expression and carotenoid metabolism. However, details of the miR156 regulatory network of SPL genes related to carotenoid metabolism are not known.
In this study, an Arabidopsis T-DNA enhancer mutant, sk156, was identified due to its altered branching and trichome morphology and increased seed carotenoid levels compared to wild type (WT) ecovar Columbia. Enhanced miR156b expression due to the 35S enhancers present on the T-DNA insert was responsible for these phenotypes. Constitutive and leaf primodium-specific expression of a miR156-insensitive (mutated) SPL15 (SPL15m) largely restored WT seed carotenoid levels and plant morphology when expressed in sk156. The Arabidopsis native miR156-sensitive SPL15 (SPL15n) and SPL15m driven by a native SPL15 promoter did not restore the WT phenotype in sk156. Our findings suggest that SPL15 function is somewhat redundant with other SPL family members, which collectively affect plant phenotypes. Moreover, substantially decreased miR156b transcript levels in sk156 expressing SPL15m, together with the presence of multiple repeats of SPL-binding GTAC core sequence close to the miR156b transcription start site, suggested feedback regulation of miR156b expression by SPL15. This was supported by the demonstration of specific in vitro interaction between DNA-binding SBP domain of SPL15 and the proximal promoter sequence of miR156b.
Enhanced miR156b expression in sk156 leads to the mutant phenotype including carotenoid levels in the seed through suppression of SPL15 and other SPL target genes. Moreover, SPL15 has a regulatory role not only for downstream components, but also for its own upstream regulator miR156b.
Appropriate embryonic patterning is amongst the most fundamental processes in plant development, necessary for the correct specification of root and shoot apical meristems which generate all post-germination organs of a plant. Many mutations have been characterized which disrupt embryonic pattern formation and many recent studies have focussed on the role of auxin in establishing apical-basal polarity. Our recent work has demonstrated the role of two redundant AP2 transcription factors, DORNROESCHEN (DRN) and DORNROESCHEN-LIKE (DRNL) in the control of embryo patterning, upstream of auxin perception and/or response and that DRN in turn, is regulated by auxin. We also suggest both genes are involved in the change from radial to bilateral symmetry in the globular embryo and are responsible for positional information of meristem-specific genes such as STM. The promiscuous interaction of DRN and DRNL proteins with the redundant family of class III HD-ZIP partners may represent a way by which embryonic cell specification can be controlled by combinations of transcription factor complexes, together with auxin.
embryo; pattern formation; auxin; cotyledon; Arabidopsis
It has been known for many decades that auxin inhibits the activation of axillary buds, and hence shoot branching, while cytokinin has the opposite effect. However, the modes of action of these two hormones in branching control is still a matter of debate, and their mechanisms of interaction are equally unresolved.
Here we review the evidence for various hypotheses that have been put forward to explain how auxin and cytokinin influence axillary bud activity. In particular we discuss the roles of auxin and cytokinin in regulating each other's synthesis, the cell cycle, meristem function and auxin transport, each of which could affect branching. These different mechanisms have implications for the main site of hormone action, ranging from systemic action throughout the plant, to local action at the node or in the bud meristem or leaves. The alternative models have specific predictions, and our increasing understanding of the molecular basis for hormone transport and signalling, cell cycle control and meristem biology is providing new tools to enable these predictions to be tested.
Shoot branching; axillary bud; dormancy; auxin; cytokinin; canalization; polar auxin transport stream; cell cycle
Shoot branching and growth are controlled by phytohormones such as auxin and other components in Arabidopsis. We identified a mutant (igi1) showing decreased height and bunchy branching patterns. The phenotypes reverted to the wild type in response to RNA interference with the IGI1 gene. Histochemical analysis by GUS assay revealed tissue-specific gene expression in the anther and showed that the expression levels of the IGI1 gene in apical parts, including flowers, were higher than in other parts of the plants. The auxin biosynthesis component gene, CYP79B2, was up-regulated in igi1 mutants and the IGI1 gene was down-regulated by IAA treatment. These results indicated that there is an interplay regulation between IGI1 and phytohormone auxin. Moreover, the expression of the auxin-related shoot branching regulation genes, MAX3 and MAX4, was down-regulated in igi1 mutants. Taken together, these results indicate that the overexpression of the IGI1 influenced MAX pathway in the shoot branching regulation.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11103-010-9645-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Shoot branching; IGI1; MAX pathway
Phyllotaxy, the arrangement of organs along the stem, has puzzled scientists for centuries. The shoot apical meristem plays a crucial role in the formation of this pattern, by initiating organ primordia on its flanks in a temporally and spatially controlled manner. Recent studies have shown that primordium position at the meristem is governed by local auxin gradients, but little is known about the subsequent events leading to the phyllotaxy along the mature stem.
In a recent report we showed that deviation from the initial phyllotaxy set-up in the meristem is generated during stem growth of transgenic lines affected in miR164-mediated regulation of CUC2 and, to a smaller extent, of wild-type Arabidopsis. This underlines the requirement of maintaining the pattern initiated at the meristem during stem development. In this addendum, we discuss the importance of this mechanism in different mutants and at different stages of Arabidopsis development.
phyllotaxy; CUP-SHAPED COTYLEDON; boundary domain; internode; miRNA
In our recent publication,1 we have shown that a T-DNA insertion in Arabidopsis CIPK6 gene encoding a CBL-interacting protein kinase caused reduction in expression of the gene and emergence of lateral roots. The change in phenotype in the mutant line was likely due to reduction in shoot-to-root acropetal and the root tip basipetal auxin transport. Here we report identification of a homozygous knockout line of AtCIPK6 (atcipk6) with no detectable expression of the gene in normal growth condition. The knockout line exhibited considerable decrease in growth rate of the taproot as well as in emergence of lateral roots. The mutant line also showed reduction in the root tip basipetal and shoot-to-root acropetal auxin transport. Relative rate of auxin transport and the root phenotype of the atcipk6 closely matched with those of pgp4-1, an Arabidopsis line mutated in PGP4. This gene encodes an ABC integral membrane transporter, which functions in polar auxin transport. These observations strengthen our earlier proposal that CIPK6 is probably involved in polar auxin transport and indicate that it may function through the PGP4 auxin transporter.
Arabidopsis; CIPK6; auxin; MDR4/PGP4; root
Flower development in kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.) is initiated in the first growing season, when undifferentiated primordia are established in latent shoot buds. These primordia can differentiate into flowers in the second growing season, after the winter dormancy period and upon accumulation of adequate winter chilling. Kiwifruit is an important horticultural crop, yet little is known about the molecular regulation of flower development.
To study kiwifruit flower development, nine MADS-box genes were identified and functionally characterized. Protein sequence alignment, phenotypes obtained upon overexpression in Arabidopsis and expression patterns suggest that the identified genes are required for floral meristem and floral organ specification. Their role during budbreak and flower development was studied. A spontaneous kiwifruit mutant was utilized to correlate the extended expression domains of these flowering genes with abnormal floral development.
This study provides a description of flower development in kiwifruit at the molecular level. It has identified markers for flower development, and candidates for manipulation of kiwifruit growth, phase change and time of flowering. The expression in normal and aberrant flowers provided a model for kiwifruit flower development.
Background and Aims
Conifers are characterized by the paucity of axillary buds which in dicotyledonous trees usually occur at every node. To compensate, conifers also produce ‘axillary meristems’, which may be stimulated to late development. In juvenile material of Wollemia nobilis (Araucariaceae: Massart's model) first-order (plagiotropic) branches lack both axillary buds and, seemingly, axillary meristems. This contrasts with orthotropic (trunk) axes, which produce branches, either within the terminal bud or as reiterated orthotropic axes originating from axillary meristems. However, plagiotropic axes do produce branches if they are decapitated. This study investigated how this can occur if axillary meristems are not the source.
The terminal buds of a series of plagiotropic branches on juvenile trees were decapitated in order to generate axillary shoots. Shoots were culled at about weekly intervals to obtain stages in lateral shoot development. Serial sections were cut with a sliding microtome from the distal end of each sample and scanned sequentially for evidence of axillary meristems and early bud development.
Anatomical search produced no clear evidence of pre-existing axillary meristems but did reveal stages of bud initiation. Buds were initiated in a group of small starch-rich cortical cells. Further development involved de-differentiation of these small cells and the development of contrasting outer and inner regions. The outer part becomes meristematic and organizes the apex of the new branch. The inner part develops a callus-like tissue of vacuolated cells within which vascular cambia are developed. This kind of insertion of a branch on the parent axis seems not to have been described before.
Axillary meristems in Wollemia characterize the leaf axils of trunk axes so that the origin of reiterated shoots is clear. Plagiotropic axes seemingly lack axillary meristems but still produce axillary branches by distinctive developmental processes. These observations demonstrate limited understanding of branch initiation in trees generally.
Araucariaceae; axillary branching; bud morphology; conifers; plagiotropy; reiteration; shoot morphology; Wollemia nobilis
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.
After primary growth, most dicotyledonous plants undergo secondary growth. Secondary growth involves an increase in the diameter of shoots and roots through formation of secondary vascular tissue. A hallmark of secondary growth initiation in shoots of dicotyledonous plants is the initiation of meristematic activity between primary vascular bundles, i.e. in the interfascicular regions. This results in establishment of a cylindrical meristem, namely the vascular cambium. Surprisingly, despite its major implications for plant growth and the accumulation of biomass, the molecular regulation of secondary growth is only poorly understood. Here, we combine histological, molecular and genetic approaches to characterize interfascicular cambium initiation in the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence shoot. Using genome-wide transcriptional profiling, we show that stress-related and touch-inducible genes are up-regulated in stem regions where secondary growth takes place. Furthermore, we show that the products of COI1, MYC2, JAZ7 and the touch-inducible gene JAZ10, which are components of the JA signalling pathway, are cambium regulators. The positive effect of JA application on cambium activity confirmed a stimulatory role of JA in secondary growth, and suggests that JA signalling triggers cell divisions in this particular context.
secondary growth; cambium; JAZ10/TIFY9/JAS1; jasmonate; mechanostimulation; lateral meristem
After primary growth, most dicotyledonous plants undergo secondary growth. Secondary growth represents an increase in the diameter of shoots and roots through the formation of secondary vascular tissue. A hallmark of secondary growth initiation in shoots of dicotyledonous plants is considered to be the initiation of meristematic activity between primary vascular bundles, the interfascicular regions. This results in the establishment of a cylindrical meristem, namely the vascular cambium. Surprisingly, in spite of its major implications for plant growth and the accumulation of biomass, its molecular regulation is only poorly understood. Here, we combine histological, molecular and genetic approaches to characterise interfascicular cambium (IC) initiation in the Arabidopsis thaliana inflorescence shoot. We show, by genome-wide transcriptional profiling, that stress-related and touch-inducible genes are up-regulated in stem regions initiating secondary growth. Furthermore, we show that COI1, MYC2, JAZ7 and the touch-inducible JAZ10, components of the JA signalling pathway, are cambium regulators. A positive effect of JA-application on cambium activity confirms a stimulatory role of JA in secondary growth and suggests that the JA signalling pathway represents a positive cue for initiating cell divisions in this particular context.
secondary growth; cambium; JAZ10/TIFY9/JAS1; jasmonate; mechanostimulation; lateral meristem
A plastic root system is a prerequisite for successful plant acclimation to variable environments. The normally functioning root system is the result of a complex interaction of root-borne signals and shoot-derived regulators. We recently demonstrated that AUX1, a well-studied component of auxin transport, mediates shoot-supplied ammonium (SSA) inhibition of lateral root (LR) formation in Arabidopsis. By contrast, the response did not involve ABA pathways, via which several other abiotic stresses affect LR formation. We proposed that SSA regulates LR emergence by interrupting AUX1-mediated auxin transport from shoot to root. Here, by analyzing both ABA- and auxin-related mutants, we show that AUX1 is also required for SSA-mediated suppression of primary root growth. Ammonium content in shoots was furthermore shown to increase linearly with shoot-, but not root-supplied, ammonium, suggesting it may represent the internal trigger for SSA inhibition of root development. Taken together, our data identify AUX1-mediated auxin transport as a key transmission step in the sensing of excessive ammonium exposure and its inhibitory effect on root development.
ammonium; root; auxin; AUX1; ABA; shoot-derived signal
Plant growth is regulated by internal and external cues using a limited number of genes coded in the genome. Comparative transcriptome analysis often provides an indication of which particular sets of genes are co-regulated in different physiological events. We have recently reported that protein synthesis-related genes were highly overrepresented in the genes upregulated during germination in Arabidopsis. In particular, these included ∼100 ribosomal protein (RP) genes. The promoters of these genes had a higher frequency of two cis elements, designated as Up1 and Up2. Up1 is almost identical to the target cis element of TCP transcription factors. We also found that a similar set of RP genes is upregulated during decapitation-induced axillary shoot outgrowth. Thus, Up1-mediated activation of RP genes appears to be a common mechanism for growth induction in axillary shoots and imbibed seed. Moreover, co-regulation of a large number of RP genes suggests that these genes are useful markers to monitor growth states for microarray analyses.
Arabidopsis; axillary shoot; cis element; co-regulation; growth activation; microarray analysis; ribosomal protein genes; seed; TCP transcription factors; genome-wide gene expression analysis
Recent studies of highly branched mutants of pea, Arabidopsis and rice have demonstrated that strigolactones (SLs) act as hormones that inhibit shoot branching. The identification of genes that work downstream of SLs is required for a better understanding of how SLs control the growth of axillary buds. We found that the increased tillering phenotype of fine culm1 (fc1) mutants of rice is not rescued by the application of 1 μM GR24, a synthetic SL analog. Treatment with a high concentration of GR24 (10 μM) causes suppression of tiller growth in wild-type plants, but is not effective on fc1 mutants, implying that proper FC1 functioning is required for SLs to inhibit bud growth. Overexpression of FC1 partially rescued d3-2 defects in the tiller growth and plant height. An in situ hybridization analysis showed that FC1 mRNA accumulates in axillary buds, the shoot apical meristem, young leaves, vascular tissues and the tips of crown roots. FC1 mRNA expression was not significantly affected by GR24, suggesting that transcriptional induction may not be the mechanism by which SLs affect FC1 functioning. On the other hand, the expression level of FC1 is negatively regulated by cytokinin treatment. We propose that FC1 acts as an integrator of multiple signaling pathways and is essential to the fine-tuning of shoot branching in rice.
FINE CULM1 (FC1); Rice; Shoot branching; Strigolactone; TCP transcription factor; Tiller
Florigen, a protein encoded by the FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in Arabidopsis and Heading date 3a (Hd3a) in rice, is the universal flowering hormone in plants. Florigen is transported from leaves to the shoot apical meristem and initiates floral evocation. In shoot apical cells, conserved cytoplasmic 14-3-3 proteins act as florigen receptors. A hexameric florigen activation complex (FAC) composed of Hd3a, 14-3-3 proteins, and OsFD1, a transcription factor, activates OsMADS15, a rice homolog of Arabidopsis APETALA1, leading to flowering. Because FD is a key component of the FAC, we characterized the FD gene family and their functions. Phylogenetic analysis of FD genes indicated that this family is divided into two groups: (i) canonical FD genes that are conserved among eudicots and non-Poaceae monocots; and (ii) Poaceae-specific FD genes that are organized into three subgroups: Poaceae FD1, FD2 and FD3. The Poaceae FD1 group shares a small sequence motif, T(A/V)LSLNS, with FDs of eudicots and non-Poaceae monocots. Overexpression of OsFD2, a member of the Poaceae FD2 group, produced smaller leaves with shorter plastochrons, suggesting that OsFD2 controls leaf development. In vivo subcellular localization of Hd3a, 14-3-3 and OsFD2 suggested that in contrast to OsFD1, OsFD2 is restricted to the cytoplasm through its interaction with the cytoplasmic 14-3-3 proteins, and interaction of Hd3a with 14-3-3 facilitates nuclear translocation of the FAC containing OsFD2. These results suggest that FD function has diverged between OsFD1 and OsFD2, but formation of a FAC is essential for their function.
FD; Florigen activation complex (FAC); Flowering; Hd3a; Plant transcription factor; Rice