The histidine kinases CYTOKININ-INDEPENDENT1 and ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE KINASE2 and 3 regulate vascular tissue development in Arabidopsis shoots.
ABSTRACT The development and activity of the procambium and cambium, which ensure vascular tissue formation, is critical for overall plant architecture and growth. However, little is known about the molecular factors affecting the activity of vascular meristems and vascular tissue formation. Here, we show that the His kinase CYTOKININ-INDEPENDENT1 (CKI1) and the cytokinin receptors ARABIDOPSIS HISTIDINE KINASE2 (AHK2) and AHK3 are important regulators of vascular tissue development in Arabidopsis thaliana shoots. Genetic modifications of CKI1 activity in Arabidopsis cause dysfunction of the two-component signaling pathway and defects in procambial cell maintenance. CKI1 overexpression in protoplasts leads to cytokinin-independent activation of the two-component phosphorelay, and intracellular domains are responsible for the cytokinin-independent activity of CKI1. CKI1 expression is observed in vascular tissues of inflorescence stems, and CKI1 forms homodimers both in vitro and in planta. Loss-of-function ahk2 and ahk3 mutants and plants with reduced levels of endogenous cytokinins show defects in procambium proliferation and an absence of secondary growth. CKI1 overexpression partially rescues ahk2 ahk3 phenotypes in vascular tissue, while the negative mutation CKI1H405Q further accentuates mutant phenotypes. These results indicate that the cytokinin-independent activity of CKI1 and cytokinin-induced AHK2 and AHK3 are important for vascular bundle formation in Arabidopsis.
Article: Histidine kinase homologs that act as cytokinin receptors possess overlapping functions in the regulation of shoot and root growth in Arabidopsis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Cytokinins are plant hormones that may play essential and crucial roles in various aspects of plant growth and development. Although the functional significance of exogenous cytokinins as to the proliferation and differentiation of cells has been well documented, the biological roles of endogenous cytokinins have remained largely unknown. The recent discovery of the Arabidopsis Histidine Kinase 4 (AHK4)/CRE1/WOL cytokinin receptor in Arabidopsis thaliana strongly suggested that the cellular response to cytokinins involves a two-component signal transduction system. However, the lack of an apparent phenotype in the mutant, presumably because of genetic redundancy, prevented us from determining the in planta roles of the cytokinin receptor. To gain insight into the molecular functions of the three AHK genes AHK2, AHK3, and AHK4 in this study, we identified mutational alleles of the AHK2 and AHK3 genes, both of which encode sensor histidine kinases closely related to AHK4, and constructed a set of multiple ahk mutants. Application of exogenous cytokinins to the resultant strains revealed that both AHK2 and AHK3 function as positive regulators for cytokinin signaling similar to AHK4. The ahk2 ahk4 and ahk3 ahk4 double mutants and the ahk single mutants grew normally, whereas the ahk2 ahk3 double mutants exhibited a semidwarf phenotype as to shoots, such as a reduced leaf size and a reduced influorescence stem length. The growth and development of the ahk2 ahk3 ahk4 triple mutant were markedly inhibited in various tissues and organs, including the roots and leaves in the vegetative growth phase and the influorescence meristem in the reproductive phase. We showed that the inhibition of growth is associated with reduced meristematic activity of cells. Expression analysis involving AHK:beta-glucuronidase fusion genes suggested that the AHK genes are expressed ubiquitously in various tissues during postembryonic growth and development. Our results thus strongly suggest that the primary functions of AHK genes, and those of endogenous cytokinins, are triggering of the cell division and maintenance of the meristematic competence of cells to prevent subsequent differentiation until a sufficient number of cells has accumulated during organogenesis.The Plant Cell 07/2004; 16(6):1365-77. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although a substantial proportion of plant biomass originates from the activity of vascular cambium, the molecular basis of radial plant growth is still largely unknown. To address whether cytokinins are required for cambial activity, we studied cytokinin signaling across the cambial zones of 2 tree species, poplar (Populus trichocarpa) and birch (Betula pendula). We observed an expression peak for genes encoding cytokinin receptors in the dividing cambial cells. We reduced cytokinin levels endogenously by engineering transgenic poplar trees (P. tremula x tremuloides) to express a cytokinin catabolic gene, Arabidopsis CYTOKININ OXIDASE 2, under the promoter of a birch CYTOKININ RECEPTOR 1 gene. Transgenic trees showed reduced concentration of a biologically active cytokinin, correlating with impaired cytokinin responsiveness. In these trees, both apical and radial growth was compromised. However, radial growth was more affected, as illustrated by a thinner stem diameter than in WT at same height. To dissect radial from apical growth inhibition, we performed a reciprocal grafting experiment. WT scion outgrew the diameter of transgenic stock, implicating cytokinin activity as a direct determinant of radial growth. The reduced radial growth correlated with a reduced number of cambial cell layers. Moreover, expression of a cytokinin primary response gene was dramatically reduced in the thin-stemmed transgenic trees. Thus, a reduced level of cytokinin signaling is the primary basis for the impaired cambial growth observed. Together, our results show that cytokinins are major hormonal regulators required for cambial development.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 105(50):20032-7. · 9.68 Impact Factor