[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bundle sheath (BS) cells form a single cell layer surrounding the vascular tissue in leaves. In C3 plants, photosynthesis occurs in both the BS and mesophyll cells, but in C4 plants the BS cells are the major sites of photosynthesis, whereas the mesophyll cells are only involved in CO2 fixation. Because C4 plants are more efficient photosynthetically, introduction of the C4 mechanism into C3 plants is considered a key strategy to improve crop yield. One prerequisite for such C3-to-C4 engineering is the ability to manipulate the number and physiology of the BS cells, but the molecular basis of BS cell fate specification still remains unclear. Herein we report that mutations in three GRAS family transcription factors, SHORT-ROOT (SHR), SCARECROW (SCR) and SCR like 23 (SCL23), affect BS cell fate in Arabidopsis thaliana. SCR and SCL23 are expressed specifically in the BS cells and act redundantly in BS cell fate specification, but their expression pattern and function diverge in later stages of leaf development. By ChIP-chip experiment and sugar assay, we showed that SCR is primarily involved in sugar transport whereas SCL23 functions in mineral transport. SHR is also essential for BS cell fate specification, but it is expressed in the central vascular tissue. The SHR protein however moves into the BS cells, where it directly regulates SCR and SCL23 expression. SHR, SCR and SCL23 homologs are present in many plant species, suggesting that this developmental pathway for BS cell fate specification is likely to be evolutionarily conserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SHORT-ROOT (SHR) is a key regulator of radial patterning and stem-cell renewal in the Arabidopsis root. Although SHR is expressed in the stele, its function in the vascular tissue was not recognized until recently. In shr, the protoxylem is missing due to the loss of expression of microRNA165A (miR165A) and microRNA166B (miR165B). shr is also defective in lateral root formation, but the mechanism remains unclear. To dissect the SHR developmental pathway, we recently have identified its direct targets at the genome scale by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by microarray analysis (ChIP-chip). In further studies, we have shown that SHR regulates cytokinin homeostasis through cytokinin oxidase 3 and that this role of SHR is critical to vascular patterning in the root. In this communication we report that SHR also regulates miR165A and miR166B indirectly through its effect on cytokinin homeostasis. Although cytokinin is inhibitory to root growth, the root-apical-meristem defect in shr was not alleviated by reduction of endogenous cytokinin. These results together suggest that SHR regulates vascular patterning, but not root apical meristematic activity, through cytokinin homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sugar is essential for all cellular activities, but at high levels it inhibits growth and development. How plants balance the tradeoffs between the need for sugars and their growth inhibitory effects is poorly understood. SHORT-ROOT (SHR) and SCARECROW (SCR) are key regulators of stem cell renewal and radial patterning in the root of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Recently, we identified direct targets of SHR at the genome scale. Intriguingly, among the top-ranked list, we found a number of genes that are involved in stress responses. By chromatin immunoprecipitation-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we showed that SHR and SCR regulate a similar but not identical set of stress response genes. Consistent with this, scr and shr were found to be hypersensitive to abscisic acid (ABA). We further showed that both mutants were hypersensitive to high levels of glucose (Glc) but responded normally to high salinity and osmoticum. The endogenous levels of sucrose, Glc, and fructose were also elevated in shr and scr. Intriguingly, although shr had sugar content and developmental defects similar to those of scr, it was much less sensitive to Glc. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR and reverse transcription-PCR assays as well as transgenic studies with an ABA-INSENSITIVE2 (ABI4)-β-glucuronidase reporter construct revealed that in root, SCR, but not SHR, repressed ABI4 and ABI5 directly and specifically in the apical meristem. When combined with abi4, scr became much more tolerant of high Glc. Finally, transgenic plants expressing ABI4 under the control of the SCR promoter manifested a short-root phenotype. These results together suggest that SCR has a SHR-independent role in mitigating the sugar response and that this role of SCR is important for root growth.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SHORT-ROOT (SHR) is a key regulator of root growth and development in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Made in the stele, the SHR protein moves into an adjacent cell layer, where it specifies endodermal cell fate; it is also essential for apical meristem maintenance, ground tissue patterning, vascular differentiation, and lateral root formation. Much has been learned about the mechanism by which SHR controls radial patterning, but how it regulates other aspects of root morphogenesis is still unclear. To dissect the SHR developmental pathway, we have determined the genome-wide locations of SHR direct targets using a chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by microarray analysis method. K-means clustering analysis not only identified additional quiescent center-specific SHR targets but also revealed a direct role for SHR in gene regulation in the pericycle and xylem. Using cell type-specific markers, we showed that in shr, the phloem and the phloem-associated pericycle expanded, whereas the xylem and xylem-associated pericycle diminished. Interestingly, we found that cytokinin level was elevated in shr and that exogenous cytokinin conferred a shr-like vascular patterning phenotype in wild-type root. By chromatin immunoprecipitation-polymerase chain reaction and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assays, we showed that SHR regulates cytokinin homeostasis by directly controlling the transcription of cytokinin oxidase 3, a cytokinin catabolism enzyme preferentially expressed in the stele. Finally, overexpression of a cytokinin oxidase in shr alleviated its vascular patterning defect. On the basis of these results, we suggest that one mechanism by which SHR controls vascular patterning is the regulation of cytokinin homeostasis.