[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Brassinosteroid (BR) signaling is essential for plant growth and development. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), BRs are perceived by the BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1) receptor. Root growth and hypocotyl elongation are convenient downstream physiological outputs of BR signaling. A computational approach was employed to predict root growth solely on the basis of BRI1 receptor activity. The developed mathematical model predicts that during normal root growth, few receptors are occupied with ligand. The model faithfully predicts root growth, as observed in bri1 loss-of-function mutants. For roots, it incorporates one stimulatory and two inhibitory modules, while for hypocotyls, a single inhibitory module is sufficient. Root growth as observed when BRI1 is overexpressed can only be predicted assuming that a decrease occurred in the BRI1 half-maximum response values. Root growth appears highly sensitive to variation in BR concentration and much less to reduction in BRI1 receptor level, suggesting that regulation occurs primarily by ligand availability and biochemical activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like protein kinases (LRR RLKs) represent the largest group of Arabidopsis RLKs with approximately 235 members. A minority of these LRR RLKs have been assigned to diverse roles in development, pathogen resistance and hormone perception. Using a reverse genetics approach, a collection of homozygous T-DNA insertion lines for 69 root expressed LRR RLK genes was screened for root developmental defects and altered response after exposure to environmental, hormonal/chemical and abiotic stress. The obtained data demonstrate that LRR RLKs play a role in a wide variety of signal transduction pathways related to hormone and abiotic stress responses. The described collection of T-DNA insertion mutants provides a valuable tool for future research into the function of LRR RLK genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) constitute a large family of signal perception molecules in Arabidopsis. The largest group of RLKs is the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) class that has been described to function in development and defense. Of these, CLAVATA1 (CLV1) and ERECTA (ER) receptors function in maintaining shoot meristem homeostasis and organ growth, but LRR RLKs with similar function in the root remain unknown. For the interaction of Arabidopsis with the oomycete pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis the involvement of LRR RLKs has not been demonstrated. A set of homozygous T-DNA insertion lines mutated in LRR RLKs was investigated to assess the potential role of these receptors in root meristem maintenance and compatibility. One mutant line, rlk902, was discovered that showed both reduced root growth and resistance to downy mildew in a recessive manner. The phenotypes of this mutated line could not be rescued by complementation, but are nevertheless linked to the T-DNA insertion. Microarray studies showed that gene expression spanning a region of approximately 84 kb upstream of the mutated gene was downregulated. The results suggest T-DNA mediated trans-repression of multiple genes upstream of the RLK902 locus links both phenotypes.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(4):e19028. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell divisions generating daughter cells different in size, shape, identity, and function are indispensable for many developmental processes including fate specification, tissue patterning, and self-renewal. In animals and yeast, perturbations in factors required for well-described asymmetric cell divisions generally yield cells of equal fate. Here we report on SCHIZORIZA (SCZ), a single nuclear factor with homology to heat-shock transcription factors that controls the separation of cell fate in a set of stem cells generating different root tissues: root cap, epidermis, cortex, and endodermis. Loss-of-function, expression, and reconstitution experiments indicate that SCZ acts mainly from within its cortical expression domain in the stem cell niche, exerting both autonomous and nonautonomous effects to specify cortex identity and control the separation of cell fates in surrounding layers. Thus, SCZ defines a novel pathway for asymmetric cell division in plants.
Current biology: CB 02/2010; 20(5):452-7. · 10.99 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asymmetric cell division generates cell types with different fates. Recent studies have improved our understanding of the molecular mechanisms involved in asymmetric cell division in Arabidopsis thaliana. Genetic approaches have identified candidate intrinsic factors and signaling components that mediate extrinsic cues. WOX genes appear to be putative intrinsic determinants acting in early embryonic asymmetric divisions. A non-canonical mechanism involving specific SHORT ROOT (SHR)-SCARECROW (SCR) nuclear complexes is implicated in ground tissue asymmetric divisions. Asymmetric stem cell division requires extrinsic organizer signaling, whereas the involvement of intrinsic stem cell segregants is unknown. Finally, new studies on stomatal development have identified several intrinsic acting factors that specify cell fate and an extrinsic signaling cascade that controls the number and plane of asymmetric divisions.
Current Opinion in Plant Biology 03/2008; 11(1):34-41. · 8.46 Impact Factor