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N-Glucosyltransferase UGT76C2 is Involved in Cytokinin Homeostasis and Cytokinin Response in Arabidopsis thaliana

Wang, Jun, Ma, Xin-Mei, Kojima, Mikiko, Sakakibara, Hitoshi, Hou, Bing-Kai
Plant & cell physiology 2011 v.52 no.12 pp. 2200-2213
Arabidopsis thaliana, cytokinins, genes, homeostasis, metabolism, mutants, phenotype, plant development, plant hormones, root growth, roots, seedlings, seeds
Cytokinins are a class of phytohormones that play a crucial role in plant growth and development. The gene UGT76C2 encoding cytokinin N-glucosyltransferase of Arabidopsis thaliana has been previously identified. To determine the in planta role of UGT76C2 in cytokinin metabolism and response, we analyzed the phenotypes of its loss-of-function mutant (ugt76c2) and its overexpressors. The accumulation level of the cytokinin N-glucosides was significantly decreased in ugt76c2, but substantially increased in UGT76C2 overexpressors compared with the wild type. When treated with exogenously applied cytokinin, ugt76c2 showed more sensitivity and UGT76C2 overexpressors showed less sensitivity to cytokinin in primary root elongation, lateral root formation, Chl retention and anthocyanin accumulation. Under normal growth conditions ugt76c2 had smaller seeds than the wild type, with accompanying lowered levels of active and N-glucosylated cytokinin forms. The expression levels of cytokinin-related genes such as AHK2, AHK3, ARR1, IPT5 and CKX3 were changed in ugt76c2, suggesting homeostatic control of cytokinin activity. Studies of spatiotemporal expression patterns showed that UGT76C2 was expressed at a relatively higher level in the seedling and developing seed. In their entirety, our data, based mainly on this comparison and opposite phenotypes of knockout and overexpressors, strongly suggest that UGT76C2 is involved in cytokinin homeostasis and cytokinin response in planta through cytokinin N-glucosylation.