[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Organ growth results from the progression of component cells through subsequent phases of proliferation and expansion before reaching maturity. We combined kinematic analysis, flowcytometry, and microarray analysis to characterize cell cycle regulation during the growth process of leaves 1 and 2 of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Kinematic analysis showed that the epidermis proliferates until day 12; thereafter, cells expand until day 19 when leaves reach maturity. Flowcytometry revealed that endoreduplication occurs from the time cell division rates decline until the end of cell expansion. Analysis of 10 time points with a 6k-cDNA microarray showed that transitions between the growth stages were closely reflected in the mRNA expression data. Subsequent genome-wide microarray analysis on the three main stages allowed us to categorize known cell cycle genes into three major classes: constitutively expressed, proliferative, and inhibitory. Comparison with published expression data obtained from root zones corresponding to similar developmental stages and from synchronized cell cultures supported this categorization and enabled us to identify a high confidence set of 131 proliferation genes. Most of those had an M phase-dependent expression pattern and, in addition to many known cell cycle-related genes, there were at least 90 that were unknown or previously not associated with proliferation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salt stress inhibits plant growth and development. We investigated the importance of cell cycle regulation in mediating the primary root growth response of Arabidopsis to salt stress. When seedlings were transferred to media with increasing concentrations of NaCl, root growth rate was progressively reduced. At day 3 after transfer of seedlings to growth medium containing 0.5% NaCl the primary roots grew at a constant rate well below that prior to the transfer, whereas those transferred to control medium kept accelerating. Kinematic analysis revealed that the growth reduction of the stressed roots was due to a decrease in cell production and a smaller mature cell length. Surprisingly, average cell cycle duration was not affected. Hence, the reduced cell production was due to a smaller number of dividing cells, i.e. a meristem size reduction. To analyze the mechanism of meristem size adaptation prior to day 3, we investigated the short-term cell cycle events following transfer to saline medium. Directly after transfer cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) activity and CYCB1;2 promoter activity were transiently reduced. Because protein levels of both CDKA;1 and CDKB1;1 were not affected, the temporary inhibition of mitotic activity that allows adaptation to the stress condition is most likely mediated by posttranslational control of CDK activity. Thus, the adaptation to salt stress involves two phases: first, a rapid transient inhibition of the cell cycle that results in fewer cells remaining in the meristem. When the meristem reaches the appropriate size for the given conditions, cell cycle duration returns to its default.