Hiroki Tokunaga

Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

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Publications (3)22.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: cis-Zeatin (cZ) is generally regarded as a cytokinin with little or no activity, compared with the highly active trans-zeatin (tZ). Although recent studies suggested possible roles for cZ, its physiological significance remains unclear. In our studies with rice (Oryza sativa), cZ inhibited seminal root elongation and up-regulated cytokinin-inducible genes, and its activities were comparable to those of tZ. Tracer experiments showed that exogenously supplied cZ-riboside was mainly converted into cZ derivatives but scarcely into tZ derivatives, indicating that isomerizations of cZ derivatives into tZ derivatives are a minor pathway in rice cytokinin metabolism. We identified three putative cZ-O-glucosyltransferases (cZOGT1, cZOGT2, and cZOGT3) in rice. The cZOGTs preferentially catalyzed O-glucosylation of cZ and cZ-riboside rather than tZ and tZ-riboside in vitro. Transgenic rice lines ectopically overexpressing the cZOGT1 and cZOGT2 genes exhibited short-shoot phenotypes, delay of leaf senescence, and decrease in crown root number, while cZOGT3 overexpressor lines did not show shortened shoots. These results propose that cZ activity has a physiological impact on the growth and development of rice.
    Plant physiology 07/2012; 160(1):319-31. · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokinins are phytohormones that play key roles in the maintenance of stem cell activity in plants. Although alternative single-step and two-step activation pathways for cytokinin have been proposed, the significance of the single-step pathway which is catalyzed by LONELY GUY (LOG), is not fully understood. We analyzed the metabolic flow of cytokinin activation in Arabidopsis log multiple mutants using stable isotope-labeled tracers and characterized the mutants' morphological and developmental phenotypes. In tracer experiments, cytokinin activation was inhibited most pronouncedly by log7, while the other log mutations had cumulative effects. Although sextuple or lower-order mutants did not show drastic phenotypes in vegetative growth, the log1log2log3log4log5log7log8 septuple T-DNA insertion mutant in which the LOG-dependent pathway is impaired, displayed severe retardation of shoot and root growth with defects in the maintenance of the apical meristems. Detailed observation of the mutants showed that LOG7 was required for the maintenance of shoot apical meristem size. LOG7 was also suggested to play a role for normal primary root growth together with LOG3 and LOG4. These results suggest a dominant role of the single-step activation pathway mediated by LOGs for cytokinin production, and overlapping but differentiated functions of the members of the LOG gene family in growth and development.
    The Plant Journal 09/2011; 69(2):355-65. · 6.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokinins play crucial roles in diverse aspects of plant growth and development. Spatiotemporal distribution of bioactive cytokinins is finely regulated by metabolic enzymes. LONELY GUY (LOG) was previously identified as a cytokinin-activating enzyme that works in the direct activation pathway in rice (Oryza sativa) shoot meristems. In this work, nine Arabidopsis thaliana LOG genes (At LOG1 to LOG9) were predicted as homologs of rice LOG. Seven At LOGs, which are localized in the cytosol and nuclei, had enzymatic activities equivalent to that of rice LOG. Conditional overexpression of At LOGs in transgenic Arabidopsis reduced the content of N(6)-(Delta(2)-isopentenyl)adenine (iP) riboside 5'-phosphates and increased the levels of iP and the glucosides. Multiple mutants of At LOGs showed a lower sensitivity to iP riboside in terms of lateral root formation and altered root and shoot morphology. Analyses of At LOG promoter:beta-glucuronidase fusion genes revealed differential expression of LOGs in various tissues during plant development. Ectopic overexpression showed pleiotropic phenotypes, such as promotion of cell division in embryos and leaf vascular tissues, reduced apical dominance, and a delay of leaf senescence. Our results strongly suggest that the direct activation pathway via LOGs plays a pivotal role in regulating cytokinin activity during normal growth and development in Arabidopsis.
    The Plant Cell 10/2009; 21(10):3152-69. · 9.25 Impact Factor