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CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE1 and PIN2 act in a coordinate manner to support the indeterminate root growth and meristem cell proliferating activity in Arabidopsis seedlings

Méndez-Bravo, Alejandro, Ruiz-Herrera, León Francisco, Cruz-Ramírez, Alfredo, Guzman, Plinio, Martínez-Trujillo, Miguel, Ortiz-Castro, Randy, López-Bucio, José
Plant science 2019 v.280 pp. 175-186
Arabidopsis thaliana, auxins, biosynthesis, branching, cell division, ethylene, gene expression, genetic analysis, germination, loss-of-function mutation, mutants, phenotype, root growth, root meristems, seedlings, stem cells
The plant hormone ethylene induces auxin biosynthesis and transport and modulates root growth and branching. However, its function on root stem cells and the identity of interacting factors for the control of meristem activity remains unclear. Genetic analysis for primary root growth in wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings and ethylene-related mutants showed that the loss-of-function of CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE1 (CTR1) inhibits cell division and elongation. This phenotype is associated with an increase in the expression of the auxin transporter PIN2 and a drastic decrease in the expression of key factors for stem cell niche maintenance such as PLETHORA1, SHORT ROOT and SCARECROW. While the root stem cell niche is affected in ctr1 mutants, its maintenance is severely compromised in the ctr1-1eir1-1(pin2) double mutant, in which an evident loss of proliferative capacity of the meristematic cells leads to a fully differentiated root meristem shortly after germination. Root traits affected in ctr1-1 mutants could be restored in ctr1-1ein2-1 double mutants. These results reveal that ethylene perception via CTR1 and EIN2 in the root modulates the proliferative capacity of root stem cells via affecting the expression of genes involved in the two major pathways, AUX-PIN-PLT and SCR-SHR, which are key factors for proper root stem cell niche maintenance.